can my relatives make me move off a piece of property that ive been living on since 1995

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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can my relatives make me move off a piece of property that ive been living on since 1995

I have been living on this piece of land since 1995 , my grandma told me that I
could have whatever i fenced in, she never got a chance to put it in her will
that it was legally mine, now her two daughters are trying to kick me of the
property and also make me pay taxes for the whole acre of land in which I dont
use, they have a house sitting on it and since nobody is living there they said
it was my job to pay the taxes on the land or pay them a monthly fee to continue
to stay here, I need a lawyer to help me to see if there is anything I can do to
claim this land as mine since I’ve lived on it since 1995. My daughter and I
have lived here ever since she was born, I don’t want to be homeless or forced
to leave my house that I worked so hard to maintain.Please help

Asked on December 29, 2016 under Real Estate Law, Alabama


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

Unfortunately, living on a property, even for decades, with someone's permission gives you *no* legal rights to it; you are only a guest, and a guest can remain only so long as the property owner allows her to. The property owner--which includes the new owner(s) after the original owner passes away; in this case, your grandmother's daughters, who presumably inherited the home either under a will or (if there was no will) under intestate succession--has the right to tell a guest to leave whenever they want, or to set conditions on staying(e.g. pay rent). Your grandmother's wishes have no legal authority after her death, unless they were put into a valid will. So if the daughters inherited, as they presumably did (as her daughters), they have the right to ask you to pay to stay there or to leave; and if you refuse to do what they want or to leave, they can bring a legal action to have the courts and law remove you (such as an action "for ejectment," which is an "eviction" action for guests and other non-tenants). 
You cannot claim the land as yours under "adverse possession" because you were there with your grandmother's permission--permitted guests cannot claim land. 
Based on what your write, you appear to have no rights here: you can be removed at will by the new owners unless they agree to let you stay (e.g by paying rent). If you and they do agree to let you stay for paying rent (or paying the taxes and maintenance, etc.), get that in writing and try to get the lease for as long a term (as many years) as possible--once you have a written lease, which is a contract, you have enforceable rights.

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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