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Do I need a real estate attorney?

Cerritos, CA |

My husband was deeded a house. He agreed to let the guy live there as long as he wanted. The man moved away. This man expects to collect the rent from the property, calling it equity. What should I do?

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Attorney answers 5


A resulting trust occurs where one person deeds the property to another with the understanding that the new owner will be an owner in name only. This may be what you have here. But the new owner is, of course, entitled to compensation for the service. This situation can be resolved by mutual agreement reduced to writing or through the courts. Consult an attorney.


Not clear as to the question. Who deeded the house to your husband? How long ago? Are you saying the "man" lived in the house rent free and now wants money on top of that too?



The man who owned the house deeded it to my husband cause he was going to lose it. My husband paid off the amount owing on the house. This was over 5 years now. My husband told him he could live there rent free as long as he wanted. He moved. My husband fixed the house up very well so it could be rented. As soon as it got rented out the old owner of the house demanded to get "equity" that he said was owed to him. What should we do?

Wahid Ezzat Guirguis

Wahid Ezzat Guirguis


The facts are getting a little complex. We will need to look at the price of house at the time, how much was paid by your husband, any witnesses to that "verbal agreement". We need to also analyze whether that verbal agreement is enforceable. The issue now if you pay him some rent, where and when does it stop?? It maybe that you get a feel what exactly he wants. If it is reasonable, hire an attorney to memorialize that agreement. I could help if you decide to do that. You can email me if you wish.


I agree with Mr. Graham.

If this answer was helpful, please mark it as helpful or as a best answer. This answer is for general education purposes only. It neither creates an attorney-client relationship nor provides legal guidance or advice. The answer is based on the limited information provided and the answer might be different had additional information been provided. You should consult an attorney.


I have read your question and comments. The situation is too complex for an answer through this forum. Your husband needs to consult an attorney. There are many issues which need to be considered along with the exact facts, including the terms of any agreement between your husband and "the man." Good luck.

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After reviewing the questions and comments there still appears to me missing information. Mostly, how much was paid off, what was the value of the home at each relevant time, how much was invested in the renovations, and how much of the rents does the previous owner expect?

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