If my mother resided with me and chose to leave on her own but left personal property behind, do I have the right to change my locks and allow her 30 days to remove the rest of her property?

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If my mother resided with me and chose to leave on her own but left personal property behind, do I have the right to change my locks and allow her 30 days to remove the rest of her property?

She did not have a lease and never paid rent.

Asked on June 22, 2015 under Real Estate Law, Maryland

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

If she did not have a lease and did not pay rent, she was your guest, not a tenant. You may ask a guest to leave at any time, and if guest leaves--truly moves out, not just leaving for a trip or for work--you are under no obligation whatsoever to let them back in. If your mother moved out, even if she left some items behind, you may change the locks. You are also under no obligaton to indefinitely store her belongings. Give her 30 days written notice, sent some way (or preferably more than one way) you can prove delivery, to retrieve her possessions; then you may dispose of them.


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