How do I get my ex-boyfriend’s belongings out of my house?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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How do I get my ex-boyfriend’s belongings out of my house?

My ex and I have lived together for the better part of 10 years. We broke up via a temporary no contact order 3 months ago. He’s living with his current boyfriend. However, he comes and goes from my house as he pleases. What can I do to stop this? How can I get him to get his belongings out of my home? Is there an abandonedment law for this? We had a lease for our house but its no longer vaild due to items that where in it. So neither one of us are on the lease. All of the bills are in my name. He even brings his girlfriend over that he cheated on me with and im getting really tired of it all.

Asked on November 5, 2016 under Real Estate Law, Iowa


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

If you and he had prevously both been on the lease or both been tenants, then even if the written lease is currently expired, you both continue to be tenants under a month to month oral lease; that means that he does have equal right to use, access, move back into or live in, store belongings in, etc. the home and you can't stop him. Someone is still a tenant even if they are not currently living there; tenants can reside elsewhere. If there's just an oral lease, you may wish to give the landlord a month's notice that you are terminating your tenancy and moving out, then go elsewhere and leave the rental unit to him.
If you were on the lease and he was not, he was your guest; you can ask him to leave at any time and if he won't, you should be able to bring a legal action for "ejectment" (eviction for nontenants--like a significant other you allowed to live in your rental) to remove him. You can only legally remove him via a court action; since an action for ejectment is more procedurally complex than the average eviction, retain an attorney to help you. Once's he's been legally removed, he'd have to take his belongings, too.
If he's on (or was on, in the case of a now-expired lease) the lease and you're not, HE can remove YOU--not the other way around, even if he's chosen to live elsewhere for you. Your only recourse to extricate yourself would be for you to leave.

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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