How do I give someone authorization to occupy our hope?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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How do I give someone authorization to occupy our hope?

Our parent’s home is unoccupied. They are deceased. We want to give our cousin, who is homeless permission to occupy the home. We will not charge her any rent. She will be responsible for all utilities and upkeep. They are 7 surviving children of our parents. We all agree on allowing our cousin to live in the home. There is no mortgage. The is situated on heirs property. She is requesting notarized permission from us. Will this be sufficient, legally?

Asked on August 12, 2017 under Real Estate Law, South Carolina


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Even oral permission is sufficient. Bear in mind that however you let her stay, if and when you want her to leave, you will have to bring a legal action to remove her: an action for "ejectment" if she is a guest (not a rent paying tenant) or an eviction action (if she is a tenant). Note that if she paying utilities and upkeep, she might be considered a tenant by the courts: those costs that she pays would be seen as her "rent." You might therefore want to have a simply month-to-month (i.e. terminable by either side on a month's notice) lease with her, with her rent being some low but reasonable amount which will cover the utilties and upkeep, and which also obligates her to do or arrange for certain other things (e.g. yardcare, snow removal if that's ever and issue where you live; also to report damage or problems in a timely manner or arrange for a plumber, etc. as needed). That way, you and she will both know what is expected; you'll have all the obligations set in writing; and if she breaches the obligations (including not paying the rent which covers utilities and maintenance) or damages the property, you could remove her, as you also could on a month's notice if you elect to sell or have one of your siblings or their children move in instead.

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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