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North Carolina Real Estate Law Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Family Law, Real Estate Law and Landlord - Tenant for North Carolina on
Q: How do we get my brother in law to move out of our house? He never signed a lease. He's been with us 5 years.

He has paid rent the last two years. We told him last November that his deadline was August 2021. He hasn't left yet. We live in Florida.

Ben Corcoran
Ben Corcoran answered on Oct 18, 2021

You are going to have to file a motion for summary ejectment, and one of you is going to have to come up to NC for the court date.

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for North Carolina on
Q: Can I earn an easement by 46 years of believing, and using a 200 foot road though my neighbor? I have ROW,

My use of the 200 foot road involved all types of farm operations and required easy/safe access to the property. My deeded ROW opens directly to a major highway that is dangerous to all vehicles. My use of the 200 foot road has not been challenged in all these years. My neighbor wants to sell... Read more »

Anthony M. Avery
Anthony M. Avery answered on Oct 11, 2021

You may need to hire an attorney to file a Declaratory Judgment Action to establish an Easement by Prescription. The new owner may cut you off. You will need to put together a list of Witnesses, and title searches of both properties will help.

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning, Land Use & Zoning and Real Estate Law for North Carolina on
Q: My husband has a life estate in the house we are living in. We recently married. If he dies what rights do I have?

Would having a lease agreement between us make it possible for me to remain here for the period of time of the agreement? My concern is being asked to move immediately.

A. Jase Allen
A. Jase Allen answered on Oct 10, 2021

A life estate means he has rights during his lifetime. If he were to pass away, you don't have a life estate too. You may want to get a written agreement with the home owner, like an option to enter into a lease agreement if your husband dies.

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Real Estate Law for North Carolina on
Q: What is the best way to handle a home that needs major repairs in an estate?

My father died 08/2018. He left behind a home that was not well taken care of. He owed money on it, and i paid what i could on it from his bank account, but once that ran out, my sister and I paid it off. We have not tried to sell previously because our disabled brother was living there and had... Read more »

Ben Corcoran
Ben Corcoran answered on Sep 29, 2021

It sounds like you and your siblings can agree to sell the house and divide the profits from the sale as you see fit. My guess is also that your role as executor has been completed but I do not know that for certain.

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for North Carolina on
Q: In SC does a landlord have to give a reason to the tenant to move if the lease is up if he wants his property back
Ben Corcoran
Ben Corcoran answered on Sep 29, 2021

This is the NC board, you will get a quicker answer posting this on the SC board. Most of the NC lawyers cannot answer your question.

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for North Carolina on
Q: In the state of North Carolina is it illegal for a landlord to cut off your water and you're on a well
Ben Corcoran
Ben Corcoran answered on Sep 8, 2021

If a landlord cuts off the water it would likely be considered placing the property in an imminently dangerous condition and would likely be a breach of the landlord's statutory duties.

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for North Carolina on
Q: Who pays for damages when a rotten tree falls on a neighbor's property?

A rotten tree fell on our house from the wooded lot adjoining our property. Since the damage was minimal, a little over $400, we did not make a claim with our insurance company and paid for the tree removal and gutter repair out of pocket. Can we receive compensation from the owner of the property... Read more »

Ben Corcoran
Ben Corcoran answered on Aug 17, 2021

Depends on whether or not the owner of the land had actual knowledge of the rotten tree. In NC you are only responsible for a tree falling if you knew that there was a likelihood of it falling, for example, it was leaning or rotten.

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for North Carolina on
Q: My husband passed away in June. Both of our names are on the deed to our home and I am the sole heir.

If I decide to sell do I need to update the deed first to just list my name? There is no mortgage.

Ben Corcoran
Ben Corcoran answered on Aug 5, 2021

Without seeing the deed, my suspicion is that the property passed automatically to you upon his passing. If you want to you can update the deed, however, it is not necessary.

Additionally I advise you to fully probate your late husband's will or if he didn't have one go through...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for North Carolina on
Q: My brother and I owned a house/property as joint tentants with right of survivorship. He lived on the property.

Four months ago the house burned down and he was killed. The fire Dept ruled it an accident but an autopsy was performed and I had to give DNA to identify his body.

He is still in the morgue and the Medical Examiner has said it could take up to a year to get the report and death... Read more »

Ben Corcoran
Ben Corcoran answered on Aug 2, 2021

Not likely without a death certificate, ownership is presumed to still be in both names.

1 Answer | Asked in Contracts, Real Estate Law, Appeals / Appellate Law and Elder Law for North Carolina on
Q: Can an owner with life rights remove a remaindermen who also has life rights

My father is a homeless veteran due to a consent judgment outside the original will.

Anthony M. Avery
Anthony M. Avery answered on Jul 21, 2021

A remainderman cannot also have a life estate. The interests merge and he would have the fee, although it occasionally may not be absolute and subject to other encumbrances or conditions. It is possible for others to have simultaneous life estates which encumber the other's fee. I suggest... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Land Use & Zoning for North Carolina on
Q: I have been paying the taxes and maintenance for land for over 10 years straight. Can I seek full ownership?

I have been paying the taxes and maintenance for land for over 10 years straight. Land is currently owned by me, my mom, and brother. Legally I am 66.66 owner the remainder is split between my mom and brother. Can I seek fully ownership in the state of North Carolina since I have been fully paying... Read more »

Ben Corcoran
Ben Corcoran answered on Jul 12, 2021

No, but you can demand that your family pay their portion of the taxes going forward and ask for back taxes. If you do this they may be willing to sell/give you their interest in the land.

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for North Carolina on
Q: My son e-signed a lease for an apt near college. Not going back. Never paid deposit. They wont let him out of lease.

Our financial situation changed. And can’t afford college. Is there any escape for him? They r going to report him to credit agency and make him liable for money. He has never lived in this apt- it was for August. By not giving a deposit-does it make the lease null?

Ben Corcoran
Ben Corcoran answered on Jul 7, 2021

They may file an eviction against him, which is supposed to hit his credit but doesn't always. But since he is no longer living there they may decide that he has abandoned the property and not sue him to evict. Without personal knowledge of the apartment and the lease, I can't offer more... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for North Carolina on
Q: My gf and I bought a house last July. We are both on the deed. I pay everything else and the only one on the mortgage.

If no compromise can be made and both want the house who gets it and what kind of lawyer do I have to go through?

Ben Corcoran
Ben Corcoran answered on Jun 22, 2021

You are both owners of the property, however, it sounds like you are no longer in the relationship. If neither party can agree to who gets the house then you will have to file a partition motion and ask that the property be sold. I would talk to a local attorney who specializes in real property or... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for North Carolina on
Q: We purchased our home in NC in 1996. At the time of purchase, the entire backyard was fenced in with a 6 ft stockade

A new neighbor moved in 3 weeks ago. He claims that the fence is encroaching on his property by 1.3' and would like us to remove it. We have lived here since 1996 and the fence was in place by the previous owners. In that time, 3 different people lived there over the course of 25 years and... Read more »

Ben Corcoran
Ben Corcoran answered on Jun 22, 2021

You would have to file an action for adverse possession, you would likely succeed given the facts that you stated. I recommend finding a local lawyer to assist you in this as it is a complicated matter.

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law, Land Use & Zoning, Estate Planning and Probate for North Carolina on
Q: Person leaves land to 2 people. 1 of the people die and its inherited. Can 1 sign it to someone w/o both party's consent

My grandma left land in her will to my mother and her uncle. My mother died before I was 18 and left her portion to me. Someone got my uncle to transfer his name off the deed to them. They then filed it with the clerk and is now on the deed with me.. Is this legal? To be considered my uncle was... Read more »

Anthony M. Avery
Anthony M. Avery answered on Jun 15, 2021

It appears that you are legally a tenant in common of a one half undivided interest with the others as tenants in common of equal interests adding up to one half. But was GrandMother's Will Probated? If not, then it had no effect, and her heirs own the property. Hire a competent attorney... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for North Carolina on
Q: what if a minor turns 18 while family is renting? I live in a apt complex and my son will be 18 in August

He is still in school. He is a senior now. My landlord told me when he turns 18 they need to run his credit etc to see if he qualifies to put him on the lease but he is already on the lease

Ben Corcoran
Ben Corcoran answered on Jun 11, 2021

I advise my landlord clients to put any person residing in the home over the age of 18 on the lease. I think this is what your landlord should do to protect themselves.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Real Estate Law for North Carolina on
Q: What happens in NC when a life estate holder outlives the remainder man listed on the life estate deed?

My grandmother and my father are listed on a life estate deed. The land in the life estate was to go to my father upon her death, but she outlived him. He died without a will. What happens to the land in the life estate since he died before her? He has a wife and 2 sons. His mother is still living.

Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Jun 4, 2021

The remainder interest is a part of your father’s probate estate. A probate case is needed to pass it to his heirs. Who inherits depends on whether or not he made a will and what his will said.

1 Answer | Asked in Contracts and Real Estate Law for North Carolina on
Q: Family member flaccified documents that I allowed him to stay at house I own for free, used copy paper and my signature

This family member is on tourist visa and trying to stay in US... I did not sign anything and don't want them in my house. What should I do in this case? what statue applies? I am a US citizen and own house for 4 years.

Anthony M. Avery
Anthony M. Avery answered on Jun 1, 2021

Hire an attorney to prosecute an eviction action. It is doubtful that the occupant will want to present forged documents in Court. Even if he does, he has not paid rent, and the documents are probably irrelevant to possession.

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Land Use & Zoning for North Carolina on
Q: Do i have rights to stay on land?

My father passed away. I have a home in front of his and have been living here for 25 years. My stepmom still lives behind me in their home, and now the land is in her name. Can she make me move or do I have rights to part of the land that my home is setting on?

Ben Corcoran
Ben Corcoran answered on May 27, 2021

Without looking at the deeds, I cannot give you a definitive answer, but based on what you said, I suspect that you have no right to live on the property should your stepmother revoke permission.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Real Estate Law, Elder Law and Probate for North Carolina on
Q: My Grandfather died in 2007, he was 92 yrs old. His step children took him to change his Will, shortly before his death

My Brother and I were his only Grandchildren. Our Father (his Son), was an only child, died in 1978.

His 1st Will had left his home to my brother and I, which had been that way his entire life!

He had a home, his 3rd wife had a home elsewhere. It was agreed, his property would go... Read more »

Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on May 21, 2021

If the will the stepchildren obtained has been accepted by the probate court without challenge and if you were properly notified of the probate case at the time and given a copy of the will, chances are it is too late to contest it now. Contact a probate attorney in that county for a complete... Read more »

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