4 Steps To Deal With Family Who Are Living For Free In Your Inherited House In California
Jack was worn out. A year ago, Jack had inherited a California house from his uncle and Jack was appreciative of the gesture… but he was now at a loss of what to do. Jack’s cousins were living in the house. They weren’t paying rent, they weren’t taking care of the house, and they wouldn’t move out (even in spite of Jack’s strong hints!) It’s as if they never realized the ongoing costs associated with the house. It was getting so bad that they’d pick up the phone and call Jack when the lawn needed mowing.
This situation is surprisingly common, and at Quick Home Offers, we see it all the time.
If you’ve inherited a house in California but you have family members living there (perhaps even for free), it can be a difficult situation to deal with.
You’re stuck with the bills, taxes, insurance, and other expenses of the property, and perhaps even its maintenance and upkeep. And those costs just keep going up and up and up.
To make matters worse, maybe your family members are only paying a small amount of rent… or even nothing at all.
And you? You’re stuck taking care of the property, paying all the bills, and worrying about how to make ends meet.
If that’s what you’re facing here are 4 steps to help you deal with this situation…
Inherited House Strategy #1. Count The Cost.
Figure out what you’re paying each month in bills, taxes, and insurance for that inherited house. Don’t forget to include the cost of your valuable time – time you could be spending with your family and friends, or working, or doing whatever YOU want to do. Add it all up and put it onto a chart that shows the total amount of money you spend each and every month on the house.
Inherited House Strategy #2. Share The Information.
Hold a family meeting with those living in the house to talk to them. Share your calculations with them and point out that you can’t continue paying that amount each and every month without their help. Point out that if the situation does not get resolved, you may be forced to sell the house.
- Strike a bargain with the family members to share the load of maintenance.
- If there are multiple family members living there, ask what percentage each of them can pay.
- Consider putting the utility bills in their name so that they will experience the consequences if they choose not to pay.
Bonus tip: Avoid referring to their payment as “rent”. Instead, ask your family for help to ease the financial burden of the house. “Rent” makes the relationship awkward but “help” is what families do for each other and this slight change in language can have a significant impact on the discussion.
Inherited House Strategy #3. Make It Easy For Them.
Perhaps your family members intended to pay rent but simply forget, or maybe they’re not sure how to get the money to you, or maybe they can’t make it to the bank very easily. Make it easy for them by giving them a clear way to pay you, such as post-dated checks, or consider other payment options – such as pre-loaded money cards that they can “load” with money at their convenience and give to you.
Inherited House Strategy #4. Follow-Up And Follow-Through.
Follow up with your family members regularly. Proactively remind them that you need them to help out financially, and following up if they fail to meet the deadlines. One of the most difficult things you have to do is to follow-through with consequences when they fail to meet their obligations – and you may have to sell the house if they do not meet their obligations.
Alternative Strategy – Selling An Inherited House In CA While Occupied
There’s an alternative strategy to consider if you don’t want to go through these 4 steps. Sometimes dealing with family can be just too much of a hassle, especially if you know they won’t pay or don’t have the money or won’t cooperate. In those situations, you may consider selling, and here’s where you have a choice:
Option 1: Selling through a real estate agent may mean that you have to evict your own family from the house, which is a situation that will cause a lot of painful and long-lasting tension for years to come.
Option 2: Another option, though, is to sell your inherited California house to a professional house-buying firm. Unlike an agent (who will list your house), a house-buying firm will actually buy it from you no matter what the condition – and they’ll even evict the people living there so you don’t have to deal with the process. That way, you can keep the peace in your family by simply selling the house because it is too much of a burden for you.
At Quick Home Offers, we specialize in buying houses in California that have been inherited and have family members living there. We’ve developed an expertise in dealing with these emotionally charged and highly sensitive situations and we’d be happy to take care of this situation for you, without involving you at all. So if you’d prefer to stop paying for this house and working to maintain it, and if you don’t want to deal with those family members any longer, just reach out to us by clicking here and entering your information or by calling 805 870 5749 and let us take care of the situation for you.