Can a joint owner of a condo stop the other joint owner from having someone move in?

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Can a joint owner of a condo stop the other joint owner from having someone move in?

My mother and I are both listed on the title and mortgage of a condo, if she asks someone to move into the condo – can I stop this from happening?

Asked on October 18, 2010 under Real Estate Law, New York

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

In the absence of an agreement to the contrary, the owner of property, including a co- or joint owner, has a right to have guests, even live in companions, or otherwise use the property as she wants. If the guest deprives you of your right to use the condo--e.g. takes over what had been your bedroom; or generally takes over the whole space--or damages the property or wastes money in some fashion, then you may have grounds for a legal action to either recover damagesor eject the guest--though as you can imagine, that can get very contentious with the co-owner. You and your mother should, before this happens, try to set down together and draw up some ground rules or an agreement that you can both live with, that will prevent later disputes. For example, if she has someone move in and you don't, would you be happy if that person paid rent or paid the utilities? Figure out what would work and try to get it down in an agreement to avoid later disagreement.


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