What To Do When Sibling Won’t Move Out Of Inherited House: Exploring The Legal Options

Navigating the intricacies of inheriting a house can prove to be a challenging and emotionally charged experience, particularly when it revolves around a family member unwilling to vacate the premises.

It becomes imperative to familiarize yourself with the rights and obligations associated with your inheritance.

Additionally, it is essential to investigate the diverse legal avenues at your disposal for resolving this matter.

This piece offers a thorough manual on addressing the predicament that arises when your sibling refuses to leave an inherited property.

What to do when sibling won't move out of inherited house
Dealing with the inheritance of a house can be a complex and emotional process, especially when it involves a family member who refuses to move out: Photo source (Trust & Will)

Understanding the Legal Status of the Inherited House

Prior to addressing the details of handling a sibling reluctant to leave the property passed down, it’s crucial to grasp the legal standing of the residence.

The legal context encompassing inherited property can differ based on the jurisdiction, making it prudent to seek counsel from a nearby attorney for precise guidance.

However, here are some general principles to consider:

Laws of Intestate Succession

Without a valid will from the deceased homeowner, the property distribution among heirs follows intestate succession laws.

These laws differ depending on the jurisdiction and generally give priority to spouses, children, and other close relatives.

Familiarizing yourself with the particular regulations in your jurisdiction is essential for clarifying your rights and responsibilities as the inheritor.

Probate Process

Probate is the legal process managing and distributing the deceased individual’s estate, including the inherited residence, among the heirs.

This involves verifying the will (if available), settling any outstanding debts, and transferring ownership of the property to the rightful beneficiaries.

The duration and intricacy of the probate process may differ, but it is essential to confirm its completion before proceeding with any additional steps.

Joint Ownership

When an inherited house is co-owned by multiple heirs, like siblings, each co-owner typically holds an equal undivided interest.

It’s crucial to grasp co-ownership rights and responsibilities, along with any provisions in the will or relevant laws.

Communicating with Your Brother

When faced with the situation of a brother who refuses to move out of an inherited house, open and respectful communication is often the first step towards resolving the issue amicably.

Consider the following steps:

Initiate a Conversation

Set up a meeting with your brother to calmly discuss the issue.

Choose a distraction-free time and place to express concerns and expectations.

Approach the conversation with empathy and a focus on finding a mutually beneficial solution.

Listen and Understand

Listen carefully to your brother’s reasons for not leaving the house during the conversation.

Understanding his concerns can pave the way for finding common ground and potential compromises.

Keep an open mind and avoid becoming defensive or confrontational.

Express Your Concerns

Clearly state your reasons for needing your brother to move out.

Whether it’s selling, moving in, or renting the property, explain the practical and financial implications.

Expressing your needs facilitates a productive discussion and helps work towards a resolution.

Exploring Legal Options

If communication fails to resolve the issue, it may be necessary to explore legal options to enforce your rights as the inheritor.

The following are some potential courses of action:


Engaging in mediation means bringing in an impartial third party to assist in negotiations between you and your brother.

The mediator helps identify common ground, explore potential solutions, and guide the conversation toward a resolution acceptable to both parties.

Mediation is frequently a less confrontational and more cost-effective option compared to litigation.

Read more: How to deal with inheritance greedy siblings?

Eviction Process

If negotiations and mediation prove unsuccessful, initiating an eviction process may be necessary to reclaim ownership of the inherited house.

The specific eviction procedure varies depending on the jurisdiction, underscoring the importance of seeking advice from a local attorney well-versed in relevant laws.

Typically, the process includes issuing an eviction notice, with a court hearing ensuing if your brother does not comply.

If the court approves an eviction order, law enforcement may be involved in physically removing him from the property.

Sale of the Property

Consider selling the inherited house if your brother refuses to leave.

Get advice from a real estate agent or property sales attorney for a smooth and legal transaction.

Distribute the sale proceeds according to intestate succession laws or the will’s terms.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

Can I make my brother leave our inherited house?

While direct force is not an option, legal actions like mediation, eviction, or property sale can be pursued.

How long does eviction take?

Eviction timelines vary; it can range from months to a year based on jurisdiction and case specifics.

Can I rent out the inherited house with my brother living there?

If you’re the sole owner, renting out is generally allowed, but compliance with local laws is crucial.

What if the inherited house has multiple co-owners?

Decisions require collective agreement among co-owners; legal assistance may be needed for dispute resolution.

Can I sell the inherited house without my brother’s consent?

If you have sole ownership, selling is generally allowed, but legal consultation is advised to address potential challenges.


Inheriting a house has joys and challenges, especially if a family member won’t leave.

Know the property’s legal status, communicate openly, and explore legal options.

Seek professional advice and approach the situation respectfully for a resolution that respects everyone’s rights and interests.

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