If my roommate completely moves out but still has paid rent left, can I change the locks?

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If my roommate completely moves out but still has paid rent left, can I change the locks?

I have a roommate/tenant with a roommate agreement stating they have to give a written 2 month notice to break the lease term. She has only been here one month and has not given notice. Today,1/2 her belongings are gone. I’m guessing the rest is to follow very soon. She is dishonest in doing this so I’m nervous about letting her keep a key. I would like to change the locks as soon as legally possible.

Asked on June 25, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Colorado

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

You can not change the locks unless and ntil she either relinquishes the apartment voluntarily (turns over the key and I would have her sign something) or a court order allows you to re-enter and change the locks (yes, I mean an eviction).  As long as she pays she is a tenant.  And even if she does not pay she is a tenant until the courts say she is not.  Good luck.


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