Can a person with a life estate on a property and 0% ownership rent out the home?

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Can a person with a life estate on a property and 0% ownership rent out the home?

Currently a second home is owened 50/50 by a brother and daughter, which was left to them by their father. The father gave the wife life estate rights to the property. Would the wife be able to rent out the home? She has also stopped paying property taxes on the home and put it in tax default.

Asked on April 23, 2012 under Real Estate Law, California

Answers:

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

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

A life tenant has the right to use and occupy the house until their death, to allow other to use it and possibly to rent it so long as the tenant does not convey an interest greated than their own.  The life tenant also has the obligation to maintain the premises during their tenancy which includes paying the property taxes.  If she has defaulted on her obligations I would speak with an attorney as to what your options are under the law in your state.  Good luck.


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