Does a parent have the right to board up and lock out a child/tenant without notice?

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Does a parent have the right to board up and lock out a child/tenant without notice?

I have been living with my boyfriend for the last year in a house owned by his mother. She threw us out. She did put a notice to leave premises on the door;it was not notorized. She gave us until 11/29 to get out. We have been in the process of getting the rest of our stuff. Yesterday was the 11/28; we showed up to get the last load of our stuff and she had boarded up the windows and doors so that we are unable to do so. We were told that what she did was legal just because it is her property – is that true? We had also never signed a lease with his mom.  What can we do?

Asked on November 29, 2010 under Real Estate Law, Ohio

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

You mother does have a right to make you leave. However, she has to do it in the proper, legal way, and that does not include simply locking or boarding up the doors, windows, etc. She does first need to provide you a notice to quit, or leave. (Note: it  doesn't matter whether or not its notarized.) However, if you then do not leave, she needs to go through the courts to get first a judgment of possession (a legal determination that you have to leave and she has possession of the house) and then, if you still don't go, a warrant or writ of removal directing the constable or sheriff or similar officer to lock you out. She can't do it herself.

In theory, you bring a legal action to get back into the premises; she can then, however, evict you the proper way fairly soon again, she she does not have to let you live there. It may not be worth the time, cost, and effort therefore to do this.


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