What are the rights of someone living in a house that does not have her name on the lease?

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What are the rights of someone living in a house that does not have her name on the lease?

My mother and I have been living with my grandmother for 18 years now. My grandmother regularly verbally abuses my mother for hours and hours daily and threatens that she can call the cops any time she wants without giving prior notice. Or, that she can abruptly change the locks if my mom goes to the store and deny her access to collect her things in the house and throw everything out. Does she have the legal right to do this, and do the police have the right to remove someone from a house they’ve been living in for 18 years?

Asked on August 2, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Michigan

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

If your mother is not an owner of  the home and  is not a tenant of your grandmother (e.g. not paying her rent), she has no right to remain there (she is only there by permission of your grandmother) and your grandmother could have her removed. She cannot simply change the locks or throw out your mother's belongings, and the police should not help her remove your mother if your mother has been  previously living there with permission. However, your grandmother can bring, even without prior notice, what is called an action for "ejectment" in which a court will determine that as a non-owner, non-tenant, your mother has no right to remain there, after which court officers (e.g. sheriff's deputies or constables) will remove her.

It doesn't matter how long you have lived somewhere: if you're not an owner and not a tenant (especially a tenant under a written lease), the property's owner can at any time decide you have to leave, and have the courts enforce that decision.

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

If your mother is not an owner of  the home and  is not a tenant of your grandmother (e.g. not paying her rent), she has no right to remain there (she is only there by permission of your grandmother) and your grandmother could have her removed. She cannot simply change the locks or throw out your mother's belongings, and the police should not help her remove your mother if your mother has been  previously living there with permission. However, your grandmother can bring, even without prior notice, what is called an action for "ejectment" in which a court will determine that as a non-owner, non-tenant, your mother has no right to remain there, after which court officers (e.g. sheriff's deputies or constables) will remove her.

It doesn't matter how long you have lived somewhere: if you're not an owner and not a tenant (especially a tenant under a written lease), the property's owner can at any time decide you have to leave, and have the courts enforce that decision.


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