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

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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

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 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.


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