Can my girlfriend change the locks on me and kick me out?

UPDATED: May 24, 2012

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Can my girlfriend change the locks on me and kick me out?

My girlfriend and I are breaking up. Our lease of which both our names are on will be up in 5 months. We both would like me to move out sooner than that. If I sign the papers with the landlord that removes my name from the lease, what rights will I still have? Will I still have 30 days to move? Can she change the locks on me and kick me out sooner?

Asked on May 24, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Ohio


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

One tenant may never evict another--only a landlord may evict.

Also, to remove you from the lease, all parties to the lease--i.e. you, your girlfiend, and the landlord--must agree to the removal. If any of the parties (such as your girlfriend) does not agree, you are still a tenant, with all rights (including to access and live in the premises) and all obligations (including to pay rent) which that entails. So if the paper is signed only by you and the landlord, but not the girlfriend, you are still legally living there.

If the three of you do all agree to remove you from the lease, then you will be removed--i.e. not a tenant, and with no rights to possession of or entrance to the premises--effective of whatever date the agreement takes effect.

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