Bedford, PA asked in Estate Planning and Foreclosure for Pennsylvania

Q: I was in a bad relationship and had to leave my home. I own the house in Dallas Texas and live in Somerset PA.

How can I sell the house I was forced to leave in Dallas, Texas and /or get my x, who is still living in the house, to sign a rental contract so I am not forced to pay the mortgage for the house? He claims there is already a tenant / landlord contract signed. I don't remember signing one. What should I do?

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2 Lawyer Answers
Mark Scoblionko
Mark Scoblionko
Answered
  • Allentown, PA
  • Licensed in Pennsylvania

A: Although you need to speak with a Texas lawyer, as a general proposition, if you are the sole person on the deed, you have the right to sell it. However, if there is, in fact, a written lease, any sale would have to honor the terms of that lease. Therefore, as a practical matter, you better find out if there is, in fact, a lease because, if there is, it will likely make a sale impossible.

If you are not the sole person on the deed, you need to engage a Texas lawyer to file for partition, which would, in turn, bring about a sale.

I suggest you engage a lawyer in Texas to help you with this.

Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst
PREMIUM
Answered
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Crossville, TN

A: You did not say whether or not you and your "ex" were married. If you were, of course, a divorce would go a long way toward resolving this (but not all the way). The house might get awarded to you, in which case you can sell it, or the house might get awarded to him, in which case you will need to be certain that he is required to get you released from liability on the mortgage. (Your divorce attorney should make sure this is part of the order.)

If you were not married, but you are both on the deed, then you can hire an attorney to help you file a lawsuit to force a sale and remit your share of the proceeds to you.

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