If I have resided with my mother for 9 years in the same apartment but I am not on the lease, legally am I considered to be a tenant?

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If I have resided with my mother for 9 years in the same apartment but I am not on the lease, legally am I considered to be a tenant?

The landlord knows who I am and is aware that I am the caretaker for my mother. However, when he is angry at my mother for being short on the rent, he always says I have to leave because I am not a tenant. Yet, I have resided with her for 9 years with his knowledge? In the state of MO, am I considered a tenant due to the amount of time I have resided in this unit and contributed to rent?

Asked on August 10, 2011 Missouri

Answers:

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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Actually, you are a tenant at this point. Since the landlord has knowledge of your occupancy and has allowed you to remain on the premises for such a lengthy period, at this point you have achieved the status of a month-to-month tenant (depending on the specific circumstances you may also be termed a "licensee" but the result is the same). So while your mother has the protection of her lease, you on the other hand can be asked to vacate upon 30 days notice. If you do not vacate by the date specific in the notice, your landlord can go to court and file an "unlawful detainer" action (i.e. eviction lawsuit). However, without serving you proper notice or taking the correct judicial steps, your landlord cannot just put you out of the premises. If they attempt to do so and circumvents the legal process, you can sue them for unlawful eviction.


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