If I’velive with my boyfriend of 4 years in his home and he now wants me out, how long doI have?

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If I’velive with my boyfriend of 4 years in his home and he now wants me out, how long doI have?

We have a joint checking account; we paid bills together. Basically, we lived like husband and wife but were not married.

Asked on January 16, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Arkansas

Answers:

MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

If your boyfriend is renting and you are not on the lease, your boyfriend can simply kick you out legally or ask the sheriff to escort you out. Same with if he owns his own home. It makes no difference if you share checking accounts or pay bills together, even if you are on the utilities. You may wish to quickly get items out of your name if you can, separate your checking accounts and find a new location to live so an eviction doesn't follow you in any way. If your state recognizes common law marriage, you can certainly look into that for rights but if common law marriage doesn't occur before a longer period of time than 4 years, you may not qualify for that status, either.

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Unfortunately, living together like husband and wife has no legal effect; and for purposes of eviction and your right to tenancy or possession, having a joint checking account doesn't matter, either.

If you pay a share of the home-related bills--e.g. rent or mortgage; utilities or insurance--that may be enough to consider you a tenant of his; i.e, these payments could constitute your rent. If you are a tenant on this basis, unless there is some written lease or agreement, you would be a month to month tenant under an oral lease; he could give you 30 days notice to leave.

If you do not regularly pay home-related bills, so that you cannot be argued or said to effectively be a tenant, you are a guest; and a guest may be asked to leave immediately.


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