If we live next door to my grandmother, can she kick us out?

We live in a house that is in my grandmothers name but for the past 13 years the bills have been in our names. For the past 3 years my grandparents have paid the bills while we took care of them. Now that my grandfather has passed away my grandmother says she can enter our home and demand we leave at any time. She says that she controls and owns everything in this house when she did not buy any of it. Can she demand our removal without any notice or legal action? We have been job searching and I am a full-time college student and finding jobs are not easy.

Asked on July 25, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Texas


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

If the house is in your grandmother's name, she is the property owner. The property owner can eject guests or remove tenants as permitted by law. If you have not being paying rent, you are guests, and she can ask you to leave at any time, without notice; if you do not, while she cannot simply lock you out, she can then immediately file an ejectment action, which will typically result in your removal withing 2 - 6 months. If you have been paying rent (e.g. paying some bills of the home on a regular basis, as payment for living there), she could give you  30 days notice terminating your tenancy if there is no written lease, then bring an eviction action after that if you do not leave. Again, she could not simply lock you out, but an eviction action will result in your removal within an even shorter time frame than an ejectment action.

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