Can my girlfriend just throw me out?

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Can my girlfriend just throw me out?

My ex-girlfriend tells me out of the blue that I need to be out in 2 weeks. I agreed to leave but I need 1 additional week, however, she said she would call the cops to remove me if I don’t leave on that date. Do I have any rights on this? I’ve been paying part of the household expenses for 4 years.

Asked on March 3, 2018 under Real Estate Law, Indiana

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

If you are not on the lease with the landlord and are not actually subletting from your girlfriend, then even if you contribute to household expenses you might not be considered a tenant. If you are not a tenant, you are a guest and can be asked to leave at any time--guests have no right to remain once the person with rights over the space (e.g. the actual tenant) tells them to leave.
Alternatively, it is possible to construct an argument that if you pay some expenes, that is effectively "rent" so you are effectively a subtenant of your girlfriend, if she is the one on the apartment lease. But you would be a month-to-month subtenant if there is no written lease, which means you can be removed on a month's notice.
In either event, you have no long term right to leave.
However, the police are very unlikely to remove you on her say-so--the police should not get involved in removing persons who were not trespassers and were lawfully living someplace, not without court authorization or a court order. Rather, whether you are guest will not go when requested and so she needs to bring a type of legal action traditionally called an action "for ejectment" (though your state may have different terms for it), or you are  month-to-month tenant who is given notice to leave and is evicted when he does not, your girlfriend will have to go through the court system to remove you. That will take a few weeks. So while you have no right to say more than a few more weeks, it will likely take more than the 2 weeks you say you were given to in fact remove you. Your best bet therefore is to just try to get out as quickly as you can, but if it takes 3 - 4 weeks, not 2, you should still be ok.


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