Ifmy landlords, who are my girfriend’s parents, become upset with me could theyevict me or try to kick me out?

UPDATED: Jan 11, 2011

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Ifmy landlords, who are my girfriend’s parents, become upset with me could theyevict me or try to kick me out?

Just curious if her parents got upset and wanted me out. No rental agreement. I pay half the bills, light, sewer and she pays the actual morgage to her parents.

Asked on January 11, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Washington


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

Since you pay for the utilities and such, this is considered to be a form of rent.  Accordingly, under the law you are a tenant.  Since there is no written lease agreement, you are considered to be a month-to-month tenant.  As such your "periodic" tenancy cannot be terminated without proper notice.  In WA, such a tenancy is automatically renewed unless either the landlord or the tenant gives written notice to terminate at least 20 days prior to the end of the month. The tenancy cannot be terminated in the middle of any month unless the landlord agrees. In turn, the landlord cannot terminate the tenancy except at the end of the month and only after 20 days' prior written notice to the tenant.

This means that you cannot just be kicked out.  Also, if your landlords do give you proper notice and you do not move, they can then will have to file for a formal eviction.  If the try self-help measures, such as changing the locks, you might have a claim against them for unlawful eviction. 

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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