Can my boyfriend kick me out if I’m not on the lease?

UPDATED: Feb 20, 2012

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Can my boyfriend kick me out if I’m not on the lease?

I have been living here for 6 months and have bills in my name here. Also, the landlord knows I’m here and I have paid her the rent.

Asked on February 20, 2012 under Real Estate Law, North Carolina


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

If you have been  paying the rent and/or paying some of the apartment's bills (e.g. utilities), you probably are a tenant, not a guest--the paying of rent (either directly or by covering bills) in exchange for residence makes you a tenant--or in this case, a subtenant of your boyfriend, since you state that you are not on the lease with the landlord. (He is the landlord's tenant; you would be his subtenant.) However, if there is no written lease between you and your boyfriend, you are a month-to-month subtenant on an oral lease. That means your tenancy can be terminated on 30 days notice.

From what you write, it appears you boyfriend cannot make you leave immediately, without notice, as he could if you were not contributing or paying rent and were only a guest; but he could give you 30 days notice that he is terminating your tenancy and you have to leave. If you don't at that point, he could bring an eviction action, which typically takes another 4 - 8 weeks total.

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