Can my mother force her way into our room to clean it, if I pay her rent?

UPDATED: Mar 9, 2012

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Can my mother force her way into our room to clean it, if I pay her rent?

My girlfriend and I pay money to live with my mother without a lease. She is threatening to clean our room without our permission. Can she do this? The room is not damaged and only has clothes on the floor. I have also offered to pay any damages that may actually be caused from our staying here.

Asked on March 9, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Maryland


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

1) Whether your mother can come into clean without your permission depends on the circumstances. Even though you pay her rent and therefore are a tenant (not a guest) and have a right to possession:

a) If the rental agreement (lease, including an oral lease; note that there is *always* a lease, even if it is just an oral agreement) is that she has the right to enter to clean, she can do that.

b) If the clutter, mess, etc. actually impacts hygiene--for example, there is also old food containers, creating a health risk--then the landlord (your mother) may take necessary steps.

Apart from a) and b), she could not enter the room you are renting. However--

2) With only an oral lease, you are a month to month tenant. If your mother does not like you as a tenant, she could give you 30 days notice terminating your tenancy, after which you would have to leave. So you may wish to accomodate 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 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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