Legal Question in Real Estate Law in New York

My brother and I inherited my father's house when he died in 2009. The will states 50/50 and we're fine with this. I have lived in the home since dad's death, brother has not. House is paid for and valued at appx. $200K. Brother has to move his mother in (my step) to which I've agreed. He will be spending appx. $80K to finish the basement. He's calling this almost "buying me out" with a little left over which he will give me in cash.

This doesn't seem right somehow. He's buying me out but using "my money" to fix up the basement, I will still live here (rent free in perpetuity) but I end up with no ownership of the real property. Am I thinking of this correctly? We get along great and don't want to argue over this but I'm really confused and thinking somehow, I'm loosing on this deal. Please help.

Many thanks,


Asked on 6/20/13, 8:59 am

1 Answer from Attorneys

Arnold Nager Arnold H. Nager, Esquire

By improving the basement he is improving his house. How does this benefit you? If he wishes to buy you out he should pay you 1/2 of the house's value. A deduction should be made for the value of your rent for the rest of your life. Get the free rent for lifer in writing, or it is unenforceable.

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Answered on 6/21/13, 1:52 pm

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