What are the legal rights of co-owner of house to prohibit the other co-owners’s relatives from moving in?

UPDATED: Jan 25, 2011

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What are the legal rights of co-owner of house to prohibit the other co-owners’s relatives from moving in?

My ex-wife and I divorced over 2 years ago and continued living in the house together. At this point, her mother and brother have also “moved in”. Neither of them have any intention of leaving and have moved an abundance of furniture and other personal belongings into the basement. What, if any, legal rights do I have to do any of the following: (1) ask them to leave, (2) force them to leave, (3) prevent any further relatives from moving in, (4) prevent any further junk from being stored at my house.

Asked on January 25, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Pennsylvania


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

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

What did your divorce decree state about the house and the ownership?  Is it really still the both of yours as joint owners?  Was a new deed done?  This is really very odd and very confusing.  In a normal joint ownership situation you have equal rights with regard to the house.  I think that you need to take your divorce agreement to an attorney and sit down to decide what you want to do here.  It may be time to cut the ties that bind if you can financially.  If she won't sell then maybe you can bring an action for partition to split the house in equal parts (generally a court orders it sold instead). Good luck to you.

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