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?

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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

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 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.


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