Can the locks be changed if my roommate moves out before the lease is up?

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Can the locks be changed if my roommate moves out before the lease is up?

If my roommate decides to move out by a certain date, gives me written notice that he is going, has his belongings out by the agreed upon date, but remains on the lease – is it illegal for me to have the locks changed? He never gave money for a security deposit and refuses to pay any money towards rent after the move out date.

Asked on October 31, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Ohio

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

If you have a written agreement dated and signed by your roommate that he or she has terminated the lease by a certain date and all belongings have been removed from the premises by the date of termination of the lease, you have every right to change the locks after move out even though the roommate's name is still on the lease.

Changing the locks after the move out date is a prudent thing for you to do from a safety and security standpoint.

Good luck.


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