Baltimore, MD asked in Real Estate Law for Virginia

Q: My husband was left his cousin's house in her will. Only heir.

She died very unexpectedly so after settling the estate in VA, my husband came to a gentleman's agreement to allow her second husband to live in the home and pay the taxes. It's been two years though and we feel we need to take possession of the home. We're afraid we've let too long lapse and it will be hard to get him out of the home. He owns several houses in the area (including the one next door). Please tell us how to best address this - what to file or what kind of lawyer to approach. Thanks in advance.

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1 Lawyer Answer
Richard Sternberg
Richard Sternberg
  • Potomac, MD
  • Licensed in Virginia

A: You need a landlord and tenant or a real estate lawyer, and then you need to give proper notice to quit. If he doesn’t quit, the lawyer can take it from there. If your “lease” is enforceable because something is in writing, and you gave tenancy for the term of the tax payments, you may be bound by your agreement to allow tenancy until the end of the tax year. You might also be concerned about spousal share, so ouch a lawyer with a knowledge of Virginia probate.

Ross Cameron Hart agrees with this answer

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