Q: My mother and father died leaving a house and one acre lot in Puerto Rico to 10 brothers and sisters. Emotionally toug
The place has great emotional value to all, We all grew up there, but one brother has taken over, made additions to the the house and now claims it to himself, restricting or downright prohibiting the entrance to all others against our mother’s wishes. He will not reason and broke contact with all othe siblings. He has controlled the property and lived there to the exclusion of others for over 12 years, rent free. What can we do? We dont want to sell the property. He does not live there full time, but comes and goes. It hurts alll of us as we think is so unfair but dont know how to proceed.
A: When one of many heirs assumes control of an hereditary estate, the final recourse is to go before the courts in Puerto Rico. You may not want to sell, but your siblings have an equal right in the matter. Also, Puerto Rico Civil Code states that no commoner may be forced to remain in a property community. Do the other 8 siblings have equal difficulties to communicate with this brother? The matter of rent is applicable as of the moment that the other heirs join in a letter -preferably sent by certified mail- requesting rent payment in exchange for your brother's exclusive enjoyment of the property. It is a prospective right, after demanding rent payment from the wayward heir. Once delivered and the receipt certification is on hand, you may claim your right to receive income through the courts
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