Q: I have a property that I let my son occupy.  Unfortunately, my relationship with my son has deteriorated because of my son’s drug use.  Also, I want to sell the house, but I don’t want to evict my son.  Can I sell the house with him in it?

A: Yes, you always can sell a house when its occupied.  However, to ensure that you do not get sued, you should disclose in writing that there is an occupant in the property.  A person that purchases a property takes ownership of the property subject to whatever rights the occupant has.  It is best for you to confirm in writing that there is an occupant, to avoid potential claims that you failed to disclose something.  The standard Arizona Association of Realtor’s purchase contract states that possession is given at close of escrow.  You want to clarify while they legally own the property at close of escrow, the occupant still has rights to possession.  Also, if you haven’t been in the home for a long time, due to the problems in your relationship, you should disclose that as well.  You may want to sell the home “as-is” “where-is” without any warranties, as you don’t know the condition of the home.

By Mark B. Zinman,  Zona Law Group