ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — An inviting, cozy home on a wooded Englewood street has embraced four generations of Barbara Hall’s family, but now they must leave.
“It seems like everything has been taken away,” Hall said.
Hall had been living in the home rent-free for most of her time there. She says she had an arrangement with the owners, who were close friends, but they have since passed away. Now, the house belongs to their family members and must be sold to cover expenses.
Hall told FOX31 she did decide to sign a lease recently that clearly states she can live in the home until 2020, but an attorney for the family explains that the document contains a clause that says either party can terminate with 30 days’ notice.
The FOX31 Problem Solvers reached out to a family member in possession of the home, who tearfully described the decision to have the home vacated for sale as enormously “heartbreaking”.
Tenant law expert Jacob Eppler told the Problem Solvers when Hall signed a lease, she forfeited any type of “Squatter’s Rights.”
“Just staying in the place, particularly if you have an agreement to stay there, isn’t going to entitle you to the property,” Eppler said.
He advises any renter to obtain a lease but also request a clause that offers protection should the property be sold or given away, regardless of your relationship with the landlord.
“It’s all great until it’s not. You really want a written document that you can refer to,” he said.
Hall, who has limited income, is looking for an affordable place to live. She says she will try to stay positive.
“You say, ‘Today’s another day and we’ll go from there,’ and that’s about all you can do,” she said.
A GoFundMe page has been set up to help Barbara.