Are my husband and I legally obligated to reimburse my parent’s for building a non-conforming in-law apartment on our property?

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Are my husband and I legally obligated to reimburse my parent’s for building a non-conforming in-law apartment on our property?

My parent’s sold their home and asked my husband and I if they could build a barn on our property with an in-law apt above. We agreed and for 20 years, we simply split the electrical bill and they live with us free of charge (no rent, no taxes, etc). We now want to sell our house and although we agree that we should give them something back, we do not agree that we owe them exactly what they invested when they built the barn ($30k). We are offering them approximately $20k.

Asked on August 26, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Maine

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

There is really no way to give any guidance on this matter with out getting in to the details of the building, the local building code, the present value, etc. You should speak with a real estate attorney as you may have a problem selling if the apartment is not legal.  You may in fact have to rip it out.  Get help.  Good luck.


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