newbie question regarding c/o properties.

Is it possible for a person who is listed as the c/o (in care of) of a property able to sell the property? The property has two owners, who are deceased, and a c/o owner who wants to sell.

The c/o person stated the owners died without stating who the property should belong to and she has been paying the taxes on the house until 2003(approx 15 yrs). She would like to sell the property before the city takes it because she no longer wants to pay the taxes. Her health is failing and wants to be done with the property but doesn’t know how.
Please let me know if anyone has any thoughts on this.

Much appreciated ;D


Wow kay that is a great question! Let me move it to another forum!

Sounds like a great case for adverse possession. In order to sell you will most likely need to do a quiet title action.

thanks for the response but being that I’m new, could you go into detail about the quiet title action. Is that something the seller would do with a real estate attorney or something I would pursue as the investor trying to purchase?


Do you have a copy of the deed to the property?
How did the previous owners take title to the property?
Were they married?
What state is the property in?

It is very important to determine how the ownership of the property was structured. This will be expressed on the deed. If the deed isn’t readily available, you may be able to get the info in the county recorders office in the state the property is located. Since a conveyance may have been made at some point, it may be wise to call a title company and for a small fee, they can do a chain of title search. It is quite possible that there already exists a rightful owner. If an action is neccessary, please consult a real estate lawyer in the state where the property is located.

I don’t have a copy of the deed. As far as the c/o knows the property belonged to her husband mother and sister (they are the deceased owners listed). the property is in VA.
I’m going to take your suggestion about the title search.


Very good.

The challenge will be determining who owned the property first, the form of ownership and how the ownership was conveyed. Who was the last survivor… mother or daughter? If it was a joint tenancy (a very common form of ownership) then the last survivor has all the rights of sole ownership. Did the last owner have a will? Do they have heirs? Because these are all very complicated issues, you may be well advised to hire a lawyer to do the research.

as far as the c/o knows there was no will, the children of the one of the owners listed is deceased and the other owner listed had no children.
I’m having a real estate attorney do the title search to see who is the real owner.

thanks so much for your insight.

Keep us updated on your progress. Thanks! ???

I’m having a similar problem in Florida where the owner is in a nursing home with alzeimers. Her grandaughter is trying to sell the house. In doing a property search I notice the grandaughter’s name is not on the property and back taxes were owed so I payed the taxes and obtained a lien. Will I legally be able to purchase this property or take possesion after the redemption period?