Can a wife rent rooms in a jointly occupied home without her husband’s knowledge or approval?

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Can a wife rent rooms in a jointly occupied home without her husband’s knowledge or approval?

Wife was having an affair (unknown to husband at the time) and filed for divorce. Both continued to reside in house, in separate bedrooms. Wife had husband arrested for domestic violence, filed a restraining order and he was jailed. Wife moved into husband’s bedroom and rented the other 2 bedrooms under shared facilities, effectively depriving husband of home. The renters moved in very next day after the husband was jailed. Husband got out on bail 1 week later. Is this legal? How can he get renters out of his home?

Asked on July 1, 2012 under Real Estate Law, New Hampshire

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Under the laws of all states in this country if the wife that you are writing about was on legal title to the real property that she leased out to a third party while her husband was jailed, then the lease she entered into is valid under the laws of all states in this country.

The rationale is that a joint owner of real property can enter into agreements with respect to it even without the consent of the co-owner. The recourse for the husband in the matter you have written about is a possible legal action against the wife for any damages he may have suffered as a result of the lease that you have written about with the third party tenants.


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