My brother is trying to kick me out of the house our parents gave to both of us. What can I do to stop or hinder this?

Asked about 2 years ago - Whittier, CA

My brother and I inherited our parents house. We both lived there but then he basically moved into his girlfriend's apartment. They now want to move back into the house and kick me out.

We had refinanced the house. The loan was solely in his name and in the process I signed my half ownership to him. It was understood that we were still going to share ownership. We have both been paying half the mortgage. I have paid a significant amount in maintenance on the house and live there with my five year old child.

What kind of options do I have? Can I assert any ownership rights? Can I put a lien for the amounts that I "subcontracted" for maintaining the property? Any other thoughts you might have?


Attorney answers (3)

  1. George William Wolff

    Contributor Level 13


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Putting title in his name without some written agreement as to your ownership interests was very unwise.

    Are there any emails etc as to what your interest in the property was intended to

    You probably will need to bring a legal action to reform the deed, impose a constructive trust and to partition or sell the property etc, or you will likely be out of the house and lose any interest in the property.

    George Wolff


    This is NOT legal advice, just a general discussion of the law, as we are not familiar with the specific... more
  2. Frank Wei-Hong Chen

    Contributor Level 20


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . As Attorney Wolff indicates, transferring ownership to your brother without documentation as to what was suppose to happen was not wise on your part.

    You may still be able to assert ownership rights but you will have to bring a lawsuit to impose a constructive trust, for quiet title and/or partition and sale. This is not a simple (nor inexpensive) process, but it can be done and can be won if you have sufficient documentary evidence.

    Frank W. Chen has been licensed to practice law in California since 1988. The information presented here is... more
  3. Mark Alan Mackin

    Contributor Level 14


    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . Good advice from Attorney Wolff. The hundreds you saved by not having a lawyer to begin with will now be offset by the thousands (or tens of thousands) that this dispute may cost you. Is your equity worth the cost of the fight?
    n my experience it is more important to have a written agreement with family and friends than it is with strangers.

    DISCLAIMER: The forgoing comment is for general educational purposes only, and is not legal advice upon which the... more

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