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

UPDATED: Oct 31, 2011

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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


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 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.

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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