Legal Question in Landlord & Tenant Law in Pennsylvania

I have a question concerning tenant/squatter’s rights against an eviction process. The background:

20 years ago, my nephew’s mother bought a house for him, with the understanding that, in exchange for him living there rent free, he would make payments to eventually own the home. Until that time, the title to the house would be retained by his mother.

This continued for roughly 10 years, until my nephew became disabled and could no longer work nor continue with the payments. A few years later, his mother died and passed all assets to a long time roommate. Up to that point, it is estimated that my nephew had paid off, unfortunately in cash, 50-75% of the obligation but no records exist to document this. However prior to her death, his mother was clear that she wanted her son to be able to continue living in the house, regardless of whether he could ever resume payments.

Now, contrary to my nephew’s mother’s wishes, which unfortunately were only ever expressed verbally, the roommate is threatening to evict my nephew. Again, he claims to have paid a good percentage of the obligation and he has paid most of the maintenance bills since residing in the house. My question – Is there any legal recourse my nephew would have to fight this eviction ? Is there any value in him contacting a lawyer in his local area, i.e., the Lehigh Valley area in Pa. ?

Thank you.

Asked on 10/10/18, 4:32 am

1 Answer from Attorneys

John Davidson Law Office of John A. Davidson

In April of 1774 the colonial legislature passed a law that all contracts for land need to be in writing. Yes it's still on the books.

The plus for the nephew is that evicting a tenant in sufferance isn't easy.

So there was an unwritten agreement on him living there.

other then the nephew living there what proof is there of that agreement.

He made unrecorded cash payments. Which even the nephew doesn't even know how much he paid. I'm sure her mom wasn't keeping track or paying taxes on. Which explains why none of this was recorded. No any other payment he claims to have made.

As far as his mother's intentions. they weren't in the will or in any other document.

Looks like the nephew better find a new lace to live


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Answered on 10/10/18, 6:39 am

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