What are my legal rights regarding property that I inherited?

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What are my legal rights regarding property that I inherited?

I inherited an acre of land that had a lien on it. I have a brother who has trailer on it which belongs to him. I have since paid off the lien and pay taxes on it with no help from him. There were no stipulations in the Will that gave him lifetime rights to stay there. He refuses to pay any kind of rent or help with utilities. I want to sell and have someone interested in it. I need brother take trailer and leave property.

Asked on July 8, 2019 under Real Estate Law, North Carolina

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

You can file an action for "ejectment" (that's the traditional term for it; it's possible your state has a different name) to remove him. Ejectment is essentially "eviction for nontenants": that is, removing someone who is not a rent-paying tenant and also who is neither or owner nor the possessor of a "life estate" (not someone given a right to remain there for life.) From what you write you are the sole owner and your brother is not an owner, does not have a life estate, and is not renting from you; therefore, he may only stay as long as you voluntarily allow him to stay, and you can remove that permission at any time (though you do need to provide proper, reasonable--generally at least a full month--notice to leave before you can file the legal action).
Ejectment actions are highly "technical" in that a minor procedural or paperwork error will result in your case being dismissed and you having to start over. You also already know the pitfalls of appearing without an attorney. You are strongly advised to retain a lawyer to help you from the very beginning, from drafting and sending out the notice to your brother to leave.


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