My grandpa paid 72000 cash for my house. We are listed as tenants in common on title. He owns and lives in another house. The jurisdiction is Indiana.

I've paid him 800/month for 1 year which he said he would deduct when I'm able to get a mortgage. I've been trying, but need my credit score up from 560 to 580 or 600.

He has a new girlfriend who wants the house. They have been trying to get me to sign a quit claim deed, but I won't. I just saw in the paper tonight that he has filed a civil suit against me - I'm assuming to take possession.

This is where my daughter and I live. Is he able to force me out? I pay all bills, taxes, insurance and upkeep.

2 Answers 2


As a tenant in common, you have the right to use the property. But a tenancy in common can be dissolved and the property can be partitioned (the relevant Indiana code is there). This being hard to do with a house, it is expected that the legal action would be partitioned by sale. Then the question would arise as to what size your share is, which would determine what you get from this. Your attorney will have to give you his/her estimate of the likely outcome.

  • Thank you for the links. Here is my other question after reading through the partition link. In regards to who officially owns what, HOW is the "person's interest" decided? For 2 years I have done all upkeep, remodeling & paid all bills associated to property. But he did pay the 72K cash upfront. He was completely fine doing it until the new woman. Everything we have regarding this property (other than the title with both our names on it & mine is listed 1st) is just verbal between us.
    – James
    Sep 13, 2016 at 18:11
  • @James I'd imagine his share is 72k - (what you've paid him directly) and your share is (what you've paid him directly) + (what you've paid in upkeep, remodeling, taxes, etc.) So you paid 800/mo for one year, let's say 10k. Assuming 100/mo in taxes+insurance for two years that's about, oh let's round up, 3k more. If you paid 7k in remodels that comes out to a round 20k, and your grandpa's stake is 62k (let's say 60k to keep things pretty). So if the house is sold off you get 1/4 the sale price (say 72k) and he gets 3/4. So you get 18k, 2k less than you invested.That's like 100/mo rent.
    – Patrick87
    Sep 13, 2016 at 19:35
  • What Patrick87 says except that you might be able to claim some sweat equity based your remodeling labor, depending on what you did – that is, it would not be just materials, especially if one does professional quality work.
    – user6726
    Sep 13, 2016 at 19:49
  • Start assembling records from the remodeling and other efforts. Maintain a diary moving forward
    – user662852
    Sep 14, 2016 at 12:03

Your grandpa does not sound like a nice man!

Seek advice - I believe some juristictions permit the owner to evict tenants so long as the owner wants it for their own primary residence. Wanting the home for his girlfriend would fail to meet those conditions.

You could help any legal advice by going to City Hall, get a copy of the title deed of his current home that he lives at. Bring that title deed and the civil suit paperwork that you received to your legal advisor. If my understanding is correct, then any claim on the home by your grandpa would be on weak legs since he already had a primary residence. A legal advisor could also get a copy of the title deed but would charge you for this effort, hence why I suggest you go prepared.

I do not believe your relationship with your grandpa helps or hinders your situation however if he bought your home, surely there must have been a common understanding on him doing this to help you out and that you would live in it for X years until you got on your feet again. If such a conversation took place you should bring any evidence with you. Even without evidence, tell the lawyer as while limp, verbal agreements have a place in many courts.

Getting you out should not be a quick affair (especially if you have kids living at the address). Just don't ignore the civil suit as otherwise he could win by default.

Best of luck!

  • As tenants in common, though, the OP and his grandfather are legally both owners of the property. An owner cannot generally evict another owner. ("Tenants in common" is a confusing phrase, since "tenant" is usually associated with someone who leases a property from another, but if you search online you'll see that it is a form of joint ownership, for example google.com/#q=tenants+in+common.)
    – phoog
    Sep 13, 2016 at 17:13
  • Thank you both for your advice. I've been checking, and it looks like he's probably filing under the partition law. This is what worries me since he did pay for 100% of it initially, and I've only paid down about $8000. It seems that if the judge ordered a partition the house could be put up for auction immediately. Do you know how long things like this (from his filing civil suit to actually having the home in a partition auction) can take? Obtaining a mtg may be my only hope to keep our home. This really is horrible. We had a wonderful relationship until my grandma died and this new woman
    – James
    Sep 13, 2016 at 17:34
  • Seek legal advice. You have a daughter, you've paid the bills and kept the property in good shape. His majority ownership might work to his advantage, but he already has a home. A judge could very well see his needs are greed where yours is need - especially if you are of good character. If you wanted to make it ugly you could have a lawyer pursue that your grandpa is not in his right mind and/or that his new girlfriend is taking advantage of your grandpa - this would put him on defense and slow him down. Best of luck!
    – fiprojects
    Sep 13, 2016 at 20:47
  • @fiprojects: indeed; more likely grandpa's girlfriend is the not very nice one.
    – Joshua
    Mar 10, 2017 at 19:07

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .