What can I do if my brothers won't let me occupy the basement of the house that we all own? 15 Answers as of May 14, 2014

My father moved to North Carolina and left the home we were raised in to myself and two brothers. Home is paid for in full except for yearly taxes. The home is a 2 family home with a basement. Both brothers live in separate parts of the house. After breast cancer and the possibility of losing my job, I would like to move in and occupy the basement. It's been 13 years since we acquired the home. They have never left home. We are all in our 50's. They won't buy me out and they don't want me to occupy the basement which is not in use except for a walk in closet which one of my brothers had built. What are my options?

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Christine Sabio Socrates Attorney at Law | Christine Socrates
If they are not allowing you to utilize a portion of the home, you would be entitled to a some rent from both of them for 1/3 of what the monthly rent would be or they can buy you out of your share. Either option may require court involvement if they will not cooperate. Are they paying the taxes on the property?
Answer Applies to: Ohio
Replied: 5/14/2014
Law Offices of Frances Headley | Frances Headley
A co-owner can force the sale of the property by a partition action. You should consult a real estate attorney to review all of the facts and relevant documents and advise you.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 5/5/2014
Law Ofices of Edwin K. Niles | Edwin K. Niles
Threaten to file a partition action to sell. That should wake them up.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 5/1/2014
Stephens Gourley & Bywater | David A. Stephens
Make a demand for that or require that they pay rent for their share of the house they are using. File suit.
Answer Applies to: Nevada
Replied: 5/1/2014
Law Office of Patricia A. Simmons
Law Office of Patricia A. Simmons | Patrica A Simmons
Did your father quitclaim his interest to the three of you? If so, are all three of your names on title? Contact a real estate attorney to discuss your options.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 5/1/2014
    Frederick & Frederick PLC | James P Frederick
    As a co-owner, you have the legal right to move in to the home. They do not have the right to keep you out. Given the family dynamic, it is best for all of you, if you can agree on this issue. Otherwise, your option would seem to be to file a partition action to force them to buy you out or to sell the property.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 5/1/2014
    Law Office Of Victor Waid
    Law Office Of Victor Waid | Victor Waid
    Obtain the services of a probate lawyer to file a petition to partition the property which will compel brothers to buy out your interest or work out an agreement re living arrangements.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/1/2014
    Minor, Bandonis and Haggerty, P.C.
    Minor, Bandonis and Haggerty, P.C. | Brian Haggerty
    Sue them for partition. This will force the sale of the house, you will get your share, which you can then use to buy housing.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 5/1/2014
    Law Office of Pamela Braynon | Pamela Y. Braynon
    Is the home on the public records as being owned by the three of you? If so I suggest that you hire an attorney to see about maybe partitioning the home which would divide the home into three separate parts (as far as ownership is concerned) thereby, allowing you access to the property. You would need to see an attorney familiar with real estate.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 5/1/2014
    Peters Law, PLLC
    Peters Law, PLLC | Mark T. Peters, Sr.
    Sue them for partition of the property and for your 1/3 of the rent they should have been paying for the last 13 years. Let the court figure it out.
    Answer Applies to: Idaho
    Replied: 5/1/2014
    C Page Hamrick Attorney at Law | C Page Hamrick
    FOR WEST VIRGINIA ONLY: In West Virginia, an heir to real estate may bring a partition civil action in the local circuit court to have the real estate sold and the proceeds divided; one or more of the heirs may purchase at the sale and the other heirs would receive their share. It is a complicated procedure, and usually requires an attorney.
    Answer Applies to: West Virginia
    Replied: 5/1/2014
    James T. Weiner & Associates, P.C.
    James T. Weiner & Associates, P.C. | James T. Weiner
    If you own all or part of the house you have the LEGAL right to simply move in without their if they will not let you, you have the right to sue them for damages (e.g. your rent) and to force them to sell the house and distribute the proceeds.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 5/1/2014
    James Law Group
    James Law Group | Christine James
    If you are on title you can file a partition action and force them to buy you out. I don't suspect you want to live where you are not wanted - it would not be a very pleasant existence.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/1/2014
    Ashcraft & Ashcraft, Ltd.
    Ashcraft & Ashcraft, Ltd. | Randall C. Romei
    You should have your particular fact situation examined by an attorney to make sure you have not lost your rights in the house through adverse possession by your brothers. If they have denied you possession, they have paid for maintenance of the house and property taxes, without your contribution, and you have not received any benefit from the house and this has gone on for an extended number of years then they may have gained title from you through adverse possession. You must act quickly to have the detailed facts of your situation examined by an attorney. As an owner of an interest in the property you can file a partition action to force the division or sale of the property. Once you are able to prove your ownership interest and request a partition of the property the partition will be completed by the court. The costs of a partition action is divided among the owners. With residential property it is not usually possible to divide the property and so the court will order the sale and divide the proceeds. This threat may force your brothers to compromise.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 5/1/2014
    John Ceci PLLC
    John Ceci PLLC | John Ceci
    You could start by paying an attorney to write a short demand-type letter to your brothers. If that doesn't work, you would probably need file an action for partition. Filing such a suit might be change your brothers' thinking. If not then you could ask the court to order the sale of the home and use your share of the proceeds to help find yourself a new residence.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 5/1/2014
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