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Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 101379
Experience:  Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
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Hi, My ex-wife moved out of my house and left her mother.

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My ex-wife moved out of my house and left her mother. I was trying to make the best of a bad situation and work out an accommodation with the ex-mother in law. Then, the mother in law got picked up on a parole violation and has been in jail for the last month. Do I need to let her back in to the house?
Hello friend. My name is XXXXX XXXXX welcome to JustAnswer. Please note: (1) this is general information only, not legal advice, and, (2) there may be a slight delay between your follow ups and my replies.

I am sorry for your family's situation. Can you please tell me whose name is XXXXX XXXXX deed/lease to the home?

This is not an answer, but an Information Request. I need this information to answer your question. Please reply, so I can answer your question. Thank you in advance.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

It's my house - bought before we were married.

Thank you, C.

I am then going to assume that only your name is XXXXX XXXXX deed.

As such, the mother-in-law is a tenant at sufferance. A tenant at sufferance is someone who has no right to occupy the premises, but is tolerated by the owner and may be terminated at the will of the owner. See here.

A tenant at sufferance has few rights, but one of these rights is to be evicted. So in other words, one cannot simply physically kick her out of the home. She must be evicted like a tenant who has not paid rent. If after the quick eviction hearing she still does not leave, then, one can get a Writ and have the authorities forcibly relocate her.

However, if she has been out of the home for a substantial time, the owner can construe this as a constructive eviction due to abandonment (voluntary or not) and simply not let her back in. To facilitate this, the owner would pack her items and place them into a storage facility, and would let her know of the storage facility's name and location via a certified letter. Example:

Dear ____________,

This correspondence is in regards XXXXX XXXXX property stored at __address____ which is yours. It was left at my property by you on ___date_____. This property consists of the following items (list)

I have relocated this property to the storage facility because you were a tenant at sufferance and your leave of the property on ____ was seen by me as abandonment of your tenancy.

You may take possession of your items from the storage facility. I have taken the liberty to prepay ___ months of the storage but after this, the payment is up to you. The facility currently has the key.




Now, she may also make an argument that she DID NOT ABANDON the property. However, she would have to file a suit to get back, and this is unlikely. The whole matter becomes very subjective. By these actions, one shows that they took all the reasonable actions to ensure that she would not be "harmed" in any way, and this minimizes one's liability.

I hope this helps and clarifies. Good luck.

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Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Ok. So, she partially paid rent on 9/1 but failed to pay june, july and august. She's been gone for 3 weeks. Does it change her status?


Ah, I see. Then yes but the answer remains the same. Then she is a tenant, but with her failure to pay, she can be evicted. Since she's already out of the home, one can do two things:

1) File a formal eviction and evict her anyhow, or

2) Simply change the letter to state moving her things is reflecting the fact that she has not paid rent and has abandoned her lease (so no eviction is necessary, she has already gone).

Either way will work. Because she has not paid rent, the eviction would be very fast.

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