Skip to main content

What do i do if i want to buy a home that is tenant occupied

Dade City, FL |

The house is my mothers.....My father is living in it and he pays her no rent and they have no lease..they been apart for over 15 yrs but he just wont get out the house..

+ Read More

Attorney answers 3


As long as your father is not on the deed you could evict him once you have title, but you may have a problem with adverse possession. If he has lived in the property for more than seven years and paid the taxes and insurance, he could have a claim.

You should consult with a real estate lawyer before making the purchase.

This communication is not intended to create an attorney/client relationship. It is always recommended you consult an attorney in person to discuss your case. The Law Offices of Stage & Associates practices state-wide and represents homeowners and community associations. Please visit our website at


The first thing, as Attorney Stage points out, is to make sure that your father is not on the title, can't make an adverse possession claim, and isn't entitled in any other way to half of the property due to his marriage to the owner-of-record (your mother).

Once you have established that he isn't part owner and isn't entitled to claim such, then you can file an action for removal.

If there never was an agreement for him to pay rent, then he never was a tenant and it would not be an eviction action.

The other two choices are ejectment and unlawful detainer. If your father can't raise any objections about being the owner, then the action to file is unlawful detainer, which is similar to eviction (but it for removal of non-tenants). If your father could raise a defense that argues he is or should be part owner of the property, then the action to file is ejectment.

I recommend that you make an appointment with a real estate attorney in your area to discuss all the possibilities. Good luck!


I agree with the excellent answers given by my colleagues.

Disclaimer: This is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. Additionally, my answering your question does not make me your attorney or create an attorney-client relationship. The response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.