Real Estate Property
My ex & I own a condo together. He alone is on the loan (mortgage) but we are both on the grant deed. The idea was I was going to live at the property until I could afford to buy it from him. (He lives in the big house that he had me quit claim off the grant deed when we decided to get the condo). I pay him $2500.00 a month (all of his alimony due to me) to live in the condo with our daughter. The average rent for similar condo units is $1500.00 He claims his mortgage is like 4K & that he can’t pay it any more. He says I have to move or he will take me to court & force me out. Do I have any options here? Thank you.
Real Estate Property My ex & I own a condo together.
Real Estate Property
Re: Real Estate Property
Well, the first thing that came to mind is that (1)you are getting cheated out of $1,000 a month on an unfair deal on the condo, in essence paying $2,500 for what is worth $1,500; but in another sense, this is maybe not the right way to look at the situation. There are two other possible points of view:
(2) Since you are a co-owner of the condo, you should not be paying rent at all. You have the right to live there free. Upon its eventual sale, your share of the sale proceeds could be reduced by his excess contributions for mortgage payments, property taxes and insurance, but not rental value due to your occupancy. The third conflicting potential analysis is:
(3) All of these arrangements are part of a deal you and he made to settle your property interests at the time of divorce, and are part of a court-approved settlement.
If #3 is true, you would have to go back to court to try to get the order modified, and you would need a good reason, such as fraud or ? This would be a question for a family-law attorney at this point. Another possible problem is that there is a short time window (one year, I think) for most issues with marital property settlements.
In deciding which of the three legal-argument scenarios would most likely hold up in court, I’d be guided by the principle that whatever the parties agreed upon will be enforced in the absence of fraud or some kind of deception or unfair advantage.
On the other hand, you cannot be evicted from property where you are a co-owner. Your main legal concerns are (a) he will let it go into foreclosure, (b) he will claim an “ouster” under Civil Code section 843 and sue for shared possession, or (c) will sue for partition by sale. He could also sell his half to a third party who would do (b) or (c). His choice between a, b or c would depend on the equity in the property, the overall economics, and his particular financial and emotional situgation.
A final issue is how much of this is in writing, including your option to buy him out, and what are the terms of the option? One brilliant move might be to do the buyout. $2,500 might cover the mortgage to buy out a half interest in a condo, even with payoff of the existing mortgage, which may be a bad one if it’s costing $4k.
Bryan R. R. Whipple, Attorney at Law
P O Box 318
Tomales, CA 94971-0318