What effect will my boyfriend’s changing his address to my house have on his legal standing as far as house ownership and other rights should we be break-up?

My boyfriend is temporarily living with me at my place (own) I have just learned he had changed his legal address to mine (banks, credit cards, ID). How will this effect his claims and/or standings if we break-up? I am a well established proffesional while he has no financial standing. Should I have him sign an agreement settling all financial issues? Should I have him change his legal address?

Asked on August 30, 2011 California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Using any home or other residence as a legal or mailing address has NO effect on the rights to that property--for example, every renter uses his or her rental property as the legal address, but doing so does not give that person any ownership interest or other right to the property. So house ownership is not affected.

However, where you could have problems is that while you are not legally liable for his debts, if he uses your address as his own, creditors might, in good faith, assume that you are reponsible, too--for example, if he buys furniture, they could assume it was a joint purchase with you. Be prepared that if he gets into financial or debt trouble, you may have to prove it does not involve you.

If he is expected to contribute anything (e.g. some rent; utilities; etc.) get that in writing, as a lease--and then if he doens't, you can evict him, if need be, for his failure to do so.

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