Access to apartment

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Access to apartment

My spouse moved out (along with his belongs) yesterday. Does he have a legal right to have access to our apartment now that he is out. His name is still on the lease.

Asked on June 3, 2009 under Family Law, Florida

Answers:

S.J.H., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

Until there is a court order otherwise, or the leasehold expires, he can come and go as he pleases absent a restraining order or other order from divorce court. In order to prevent his unlimited access, you would need to file for exclusive occupancy of the residence. You can argue that he voluntarily left with his belongings and you are concerned he may come back and take marital belongings or use access to harass and annoy you.

While you can technically change the locks, he can have them removed either by force or by locksmith and if you are going to do this get the landlord's permission. Once the lease expires, if you choose to stay there, enter into a new lease only with in your name. This will limit his right to come and go.  

B. B., Member, New Jersey Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

The answer is probably yes, since you haven't mentioned a restraining order or a written agreement between you that says otherwise.

You don't have the right to change the locks without the landlord's permission.  Before you bring this up with the landlord, please:

You should talk to a divorce lawyer about your case, including this question, for reliable advice, based on all of the facts, about your rights and what to do next.  One place to find a qualified attorney is our website, http://attorneypages.com


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