Tax problem...Deal? - Posted by Ann (HI)

Posted by BR2 on February 22, 1999 at 05:32:39:

Since this guy’s mental health is questionable, I guess there’s not anything you can do. In future conversations with the sister, let her know that you’re interested in buying, just in case she ends up with power of attorney. Maybe a l/0 with no down!

Tax problem…Deal? - Posted by Ann (HI)

Posted by Ann (HI) on February 20, 1999 at 14:33:20:

The situation is this…
My son who lives in Calif. has a landlord…very old and getting senile. No local family, only a sister in Texas. The man owns his house outright, with just taxes and insurances along with utilities to pay on a regular basis. My son has started paying the utilities out of his rent just to keep them on, which is o.k. with the owner. Now the tax bill has arrived and the old fellow won’t get around to paying it.

My question is, if my son pays the taxes, with the owner’s agreement, does this give him some claim on the property? He doesn’t want to cheat the man. But if the taxes go deliquent , my son would like first crack at it before the vultures decend. He would definitely let the owner live there as long as he wants or can.

Your advice is eagerly awaited.

Re: Tax problem…Deal? - Posted by Kevin OK

Posted by Kevin OK on February 21, 1999 at 12:02:07:

I’m not certain how your son getting a $250,000 piece of real estate under adverse possesion, by paying the real estate taxes, keeps this elderly, senile man protected from “the vultures” out in California.

I’m not an attorney, I’m a mental health professional. And I will suggest that if your son, and you, and now all who read these posts, are aware of this man’s questionable mental status, any prudent court will reach the same conclusion. And they will likely interpret your son’s gaining control of this man’s home as deceptive at best, and possibly criminal.

Let me suggest you ponder the following question:

Suppose the elderly man you described was your father or grandfather, and he had a tenant who was assisting him by paying the utility bills & taxes out of their rent. If you learned the tenant was trying to gain posession/ownership of the property because they had paid the bills in lieu of rent, would you be pleased?

You aren’t describing real estate investing. You are describing chicanery. In my mind a successful investment/sale occurs when informed parties agree to a transaction. Not when someone sells their integrity and tries to profit at the expense of another. You mentioned this man has a sister in Texas. If she is the likely heir, involve her as to what to do. She should be the one in line for the property, not your son the tenant.

My 3 cents…Kevin OK

Re: Tax problem…Deal? - Posted by BR2

Posted by BR2 on February 21, 1999 at 10:18:56:

I see a great deal here! Why doesn’t your son buy the property.

Re: Tax problem…Deal? - Posted by Irwin

Posted by Irwin on February 20, 1999 at 17:01:31:

I know nothing about CA law, but I have serious doubts that paying the man’s r/e taxes for him, with (or without) the rent money that your son owes him, would give your son any rights to his property.
Adverse possession, in most states that I’m familiar with requires the possessor to hold possession “openly, notoriously and in opposition to the ownership interests of the title holder,” for a specified number of years. A tenant cannot hold A/P against a landlord because the landlord has put the tenant in possession to begin with. Nor can a tenant turn possession by consent into A/P later. As long as the old man remains in possession, I doubt that anyone can obtain legal rights via A/P. I’ll stand corrected if a CA lawyer says otherwise.
You son will have a right to claim reimbursement from the landlord’s estate after he dies, for any money he advances out of his own pocket, but that’s about it. IMHO.

Re: Tax problem…Deal? - Posted by Ann (HI)

Posted by Ann (HI) on February 21, 1999 at 12:44:08:

Thanks for your take on this situation, Kevin. We certainly don’t intend to be chicane, or whatever, just to alleviate the situation. I did urge my son to contact the sister and inform her as to what has been going on for some time with her brother’s health. Perhaps she can arrange something. Once again, thank you for your input.

Re: Tax problem…Deal? - Posted by Ann (HI)

Posted by Ann (HI) on February 21, 1999 at 11:16:10:

My son doesn’t know how to leverage himself into $250K, which is the probable market value of the property. I don’t think the owner is up to doing any negotiating at this point due to his mental and physical condition.