If my husband and I are renting a house from his mother, do we have to vacate immediately?

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If my husband and I are renting a house from his mother, do we have to vacate immediately?

We rented the house without a lease and bought all of the contents inside. Rightfully. She now wants us to vacate the home immediately and she has instructed us not to remove anything or she will prosecute us. No we didn’t get receipts but when we paid for the stuff I jotted it down on paper and put paid in full. On all of the larger items she just turned over all documents to us – receipts, instruction guides, warranty info etc. We have been residing here dor the last 5 months. Slowly we have transferred all the bills over to our name except the light bill, which she will have turned off on Monday. Without a written agreement can she still order us to vacate the property immediately? And can she sign warrants on us for stuff we paid for?

Asked on April 27, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Alabama

Answers:

S.J.H., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

If you paid rent to your mother in law then you are a tenant and have rights like any other tenant regardless if you have a lease or not. Although each state has its own particular rules regarding landlord/tenant matters, every state has a process for an eviction. The landlord must first give you notice to leave the premises. It is usually 30 days. Then she can proceed to file an eviction proceeding at which time you have to appear before a Judge. As to the property in the house, she cannot prevent you from removing any property that is yours. She would have to sue you in civil court for removal of the property if indeed it is not yours.  I would contact a local attorney in your area for the specifics as to a time fram as to how much notice she needs to give you but you definitely have rights and she does not seem to be following the letter of the law.

 


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