Can my father be evicted from his own home without compensation because the landowner passed away and the children want to sell?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Can my father be evicted from his own home without compensation because the landowner passed away and the children want to sell?

My father has a manufactured home that is on his late sister’s property; it has been there for over 20 years. He is now 90 years old and a disabled veteran. All the nessassary permits were acquired and the house is up to code, etc. Her eldest son wishes to sell the property and for us to leave. He is unwilling to compensate my father for his home if the property sells with it. We could move it off at our expense but this would require buying somewhere for it to go and all the expense of the move and set up. We have improved the property it sits on and, quite frankly, it’s the only structure on the property that is legal. What I mean is that there have been a lot of additions done without permits to the other structures on the property. Do we have any recourse? What about adverse possession? My father pays personnel property taxes, as well as rent of $200 every month for over 20 years.

Asked on May 28, 2017 under Real Estate Law, California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

There is no recourse, unfortunately, unless there is a written lease for a defined or definite term which is still in effect. Adverse possession is not an option, since the possession was not "adverse": it was with permision, and the law does not let you use someone's permission to be on or use their land as grounds to take it from them.
What has been done to other structures (e.g. permitted or not) as no bearing on your father's situation: it could result in fines for the structures' owners, but that does not help your father.
The owner of property does not need to compensate a tenant or a guest (and your father is one or the other) when he sells the land. As you stated, you have the right to remove the home, since the home is your father's property, but if you choose to not do so, that does not give you a right to compenation for property you choose to abandon (even if you abandoning it for the most logical reasons in the world).
If there is no written lease, then this is an oral month to month lease and your father can be given a month's notice that the tenancy is over and that he has to leave. The same goes if it is a written month-to-month lease.
Only if there is a written lease for a definite term (e.g. a one-year, two-year, etc. lease) which is still in effect (has not expired) is there recoure: in that case, your father may not be removed until the end of the lease, so long as he keeps paying his rent.

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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