Duplex with life tenant


I inherited a duplex in Miami 10 years ago from my uncle, the property is mortgage free and I received a warranty deed. I rented the large unit and in the small unit lives his elderly sister, now 90 years old rent free.

On the warranty deed it has a line saying that his elderly sister has the right to reside in the small unit, until she moves out or dies. Upon consulting an estate attorney, he said she was not granted a life tenancy. This provision does not specify whether she has the obligation to pay rent or not and she has not paid since, as he left a small trust account to help pay half the taxes and insurance.

Two questions:

  1. Can I come after her to help pay some of the expenses
  2. At this time I want to sell the property, what is your recommendation?

Thank you,



I fail to understand where would that 90 year old lady go if you sell the property. Does she have relatives or any kind of help from anyone?


I don’t necessarily think she has a life estate, but she may have some rights, depending on how it was written and what a court rules that uncle intended by the language.

If you want to sell it, I’d pay for her to move somewhere else, maybe a nursing home? Have a heart!


Exactly my point. She should be moved to a nursing home or to a place where she will be well taken care of.