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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2013

    Default Does a Long-Term Resident Get Any Rights as an Owner

    My question involves real estate located in the State of: Colorado.

    So sorry if this was miscategorized; I had a hard time figuring where my question might go.

    My friend has recently been named the power of attorney for an elderly person who is unable to manage their own affairs. I am considering moving in with this elderly person to act as their caretaker. The elderly person owns the home. However, a close relative of the elderly person lives in the home, and has for at least the past 25 years. The relative has assuredly paid no rent for at least two years, most likely for much longer. The relative is a hoarder, is cluttering the property and does nothing to maintain it. Furthermore, the relative has never done anything for the elderly person's care. The relative is difficult to get along with and I foresee issues with cohabitation.

    What are my friend's rights as the homeowner's power of attorney? Could my friend evict the relative at any time? What are the relative's rights as far as their residency in the home? Could the relative sue for adverse possession, and take the home since they've occupied the property for so long?

    Just a place to start reading would be really helpful, thanks so much in advance for any help.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2011

    Default Re: Does a Long-Term Resident Get Any Rights as an Owner

    What does the elderly person want?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Behind a Desk

    Default Re: Does a Long-Term Resident Get Any Rights as an Owner

    If the elderly person remains mentally competent and consents to the relative's presence in the home, then the relative gets to stay. What are the relevant facts?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2013

    Default Re: Does a Long-Term Resident Get Any Rights as an Owner

    Thank you for reading, I really appreciate it.

    I do apologize for the post title; the relative potentially seeking ownership is a concern, but it occurs to me that the relative wouldn't be able to do that while the owner is still living. (Right? Am I off-base?) I am still not sure how my question should have been categorized, again I apologize if it is in the wrong place.

    The elderly person has dementia. This person is unable to grasp the changes in their environment to great enough degree that they would be able to make an educated decision about the relative in their home.

    The relative has been there all this time because the elderly person never had the heart to put the relative on the streets, regardless of how rude and mean the relative was. Many other members of the family have witnessed the relative be verbally abusive to the elderly person over the (last 30) years. I should mention that the new PoA and I have known both the elderly person and the relative all that time, and we know this to be true.

    The relative kept the hoarding limited to the basement of the home (mostly) right up until the elderly person had to be moved into nursing care for their safety. (About two years ago.) Since then, the hoard has grown exponentially, making nearly every room in the home cluttered and unusable.

    The elderly person's stay in the nursing facility was the PoA's decision, and the PoA took on the financial responsibility. The PoA has recently been totally incapacitated by a serious medical event from which they will probably never recover. In the elderly person's PoA paperwork, it states that if the PoA cannot perform the function any longer, it falls to my friend (who is named in the paperwork.) My friend cannot afford to continue paying for the nursing home stay, and so it is essential that the elderly person is able to come home, and have someone in the house 24/7 to care for them.

    I would be the one responsible for care, and for keeping the house in good enough order so as not to pose a safety hazard for the elderly person. The relative, therefore, must be willing to clear out the main level of the home entirely before September, when we plan to move the elderly person home.

    With all hoarders, and especially with this relative in particular, I do not see that happening. We will either have to clean out that level ourselves (which I don't even think is legal, since it isn't our stuff,) or stand over the relative's shoulder eight hours a day, for as many days as it takes to get it done (which isn't feasible due to work schedules.) EVEN IF things are cleaned up, cohabitation with this individual is going to be a nightmare. The relative is extremely misogynistic; with me (a woman) in the house, the relative will be absolutely unwilling to do basic household things like cleaning up after themselves (which, already, the relative seems incapable of doing.) This is unacceptable (I am caring for the elderly person, not the relative.)

    If we cannot get the relative to cooperate (which is the likely scenario,) I'd like to know if my friend (as the homeowner's PoA) has the right to boot the relative from the property. It is clear the relative will stay in the home as long as they can manage it; getting the person out will undoubtedly result in some sort of legal dispute.

    Would we need to prove (with a doctor's note or something) that the elderly person is not mentally competent before my friend could boot the relative? I believe the original PoA had this discussion with the elderly person's doctor at one point in time, but the original PoA's medical event was sudden, and we are still trying to find key information (like who the elderly person's doctor is) so we can obtain records.

    If we try to remove the relative from the property while the elderly person is living, what could the relative do to secure their occupation of the home? This relative has an annoyingly good grasp of the law and of their rights. If there's a way around eviction, the relative will find it. I am here, trying to make sure that all the 'i's are dotted, and all the 't's are crossed, so that the relative can't fight eviction, if it comes to that.

    Thank you in advance for reading, and for any further information.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2012

    Default Re: Does a Long-Term Resident Get Any Rights as an Owner

    first you need to review the PoA paperwork, does your friend have power of attorney or durable power of attorney? If it is not durable it was actually extinguished by the mental incapacity of the elderly person and they have no standing right now and would need to seek guardianship.

    assuming the PoA is valid, the PoA could begin the process to terminate tenancy.

    which appears to be 3 months (91 day) notice to terminate.

    you can find the forms and instructions on the Colorado court website eviction self help section

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