Buying property

UPDATED: Oct 2, 2022

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Buying property

I’m paying off back taxes for a family member and she agreed to give me the deed to the properties after they’ve been paid. They’ve been paid and now i feel that she might be trying to sell them out from under me. I’ve paid $10,000 or up to $10,000 in taxes on the properties. What should I do now that she is refusing to give me the deed? I have all the receipts and text messages from her that say she will give me the properties.

Asked on October 7, 2019 under Real Estate Law, Texas


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

In your state (and in most states, for that matter), an agreement to sell real estate (which is what this is: that she would sell it in exchanger for you paying off the back taxes) must be in writing signed by both parties to be enforceable under what was traditionally called the "statute of frauds." I have provided a link to your state's law on the subject below. So unless you have a written agreement, you cannot force her to deed the property to her. There are grounds under which you can sue to get your money back (fraud; promissory estoppel) but based on what you write, since you did not mention a written agreement, you cannot get the deed.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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