What are my rights if my mother-in-law owns the home that I have lived in for the past 10 years and she is currently trying to kick me out?

UPDATED: Mar 30, 2012

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What are my rights if my mother-in-law owns the home that I have lived in for the past 10 years and she is currently trying to kick me out?

My husband is currently in jail and his mother is trying to kick me out of the house. Can she just force me to leave or does she have to legally evict me? And if she’s on social security and not reporting rental income, what will happen if they find out?

Asked on March 30, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Arkansas


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

If you and your husband are paying rent, you are tenants, not guests. If you are tenants and there is a written lease, your tenancy may only be terminated  (i.e. you can only be "kicked out") at the expiration of the lease, for nonpayment, or for some other serious breach (for example, the willful or grossly negligent destruction of the property). Howeever, if you do not have a written lease, your tenancy may be terminated on 30 days notice; that is, your mother-in-law could provide 30 days notice that you have to leave and, if you do not, she could then bring an eviction action in court.

Social security recepients may work and have an income (rental or otherwise)--there is no impact on her social security for not reporting rental income. However, she may be violating the tax laws if she does not report income. That will not help you; but if it comes to light, it could result in penalties for her.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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