If my girlfriend and I break up and are both onthe lease, ifshe does not want to leave what doI do?

UPDATED: Jul 15, 2010

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If my girlfriend and I break up and are both onthe lease, ifshe does not want to leave what doI do?

My girlfriend will not leave but I think we are on the lease together but I am paying all the bills. I would like to know my options on getting her out of the house. Am I allowed to pack up her belongings and put them in her car? Women kick men out all the time, but if it is reversed how is it handled?

Asked on July 15, 2010 under Real Estate Law, North Carolina


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

If you are both on the lease, you have equal legal rights to be in the apartment; you CANNOT kick her out in any fashion, including by packing up her belongings and putting them in the car. If you do, you will incur liability. The only person who could evict one of two tenants would be the landlord, and only if the person has breached the lease in some fashion. Whether or not women ask men to leave all the time is irrelevant here--if the men are  on the lease or deed, they don't have to leave, though they might voluntarily choose to go. If there're not on the lease, then the person who is on the lease could evict them (so if your girlfriend is not on the lease, then you could evict her), though even there, you can't do it just by packing up the other person's belongings; you need to go through the proper eviction proceedings or process.

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