Can my ex boyfriend put a lein on my house?

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Can my ex boyfriend put a lein on my house?

I live in Michigan. I am ending a 14 yr relationship with my live in boyfriend. He paid me 200 a month rent and purchased household goods. He paid for other items such as a washer and dryer ,hot water heater . We split a big bill of a new roof on the house. We have no legal documents stating any landlord tenant agreement. I have made payments for 27 yrs. on my home. He has not made any mortgage payments.Can he but a lien on my house as he is threatening to do?

Asked on August 10, 2017 under Real Estate Law, Michigan

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

No, he cannot, based on what you write:
1) Unless you have him a security interest in the home (basically, gave him the right to foreclose if you did not repay some money borrowed from or advanced by him, such as if he'd given you a private mortgage to help pay for the home), he has no right to encumber the home in any way without first suing you and winning (see below); putting a lien on a home or otherwise getting an interest in it would require your advance consent in writing (outside of certain special circumstances which don't apply, like a contractor's lien or tax lien).
2) If someone sues you and wins and you still don't pay, they can often put a lien on the home *after* winning the lawsuit, as a way to collect from you you. But based on what you write, he does not appear to have any grounds to sue you: he voluntarily paid for shared costs and/or gifted you money (due to your relationship), which does not give him any legal right to demand this money (or anything) back from you. Only if there had again been some earlier agreement that you would repay these expenses might he be able to sue you successfully and therefore get a lien.
Note: because the law does not "prescreen" lawsuits to make sure they are viable, it may be possible for him to file a legal action, but he does not appear to have grounds to win one: if you respond to (if you fail to respond, you lose automatically, by default), you should prevail.


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