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Ely
Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 100052
Experience:  Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
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Can I change the locks on my home to keep an ex girlfriend

Customer Question

Can I change the locks on my home to keep an ex girlfriend out without legal reprocussions
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Ely replied 1 year ago.

Hello and welcome to JustAnswer. Please note: (A) This is general information and is not legal advice. No specific course of action is proposed herein, and no attorney-client relationship or privilege is formed by speaking to an expert on this site. By continuing, you confirm that you understand and agree to these terms; and (B) please wait to rate until I ask you to do so. It may take a few replies for me to be able to render an complete answer. I will let you know when I do.

This depends on a few factors. Can you please tell me:

1) Is he name on the deed/lease, or not?
2) Is yours?
3) Does she actually LIVE there or only stay there sometimes?

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 1 year ago.
Answer to 1 - no
Answer to 2 - yes
Answer to 3 - yes she lives here
Expert:  Ely replied 1 year ago.

Thank you.

No, I am afraid someone in your situation cannot simply change the locks.

Why?

She is what is known as 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.

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.

Many tenants at will simply LEAVE once they are given notice that they will be evicted if they do not, since they have really no defense to an eviction.

So here, you may:
1) Give her notice to leave and if she does not;
2) Evict her as though you would a tenant; and
3) Have the authorities remove her by force if she still does not leave; and
4) Change the locks.

Again, the majority of tenants at sufferance shall leave upon notice, or shortly after an eviction is filed. (It is unclear whether Ohio requires a notice before even filing for an eviction, but it is a good idea to give them at least a 10 day notice.)

Now, there is of course the possibility that if locks are changed, she will simply walk away after she picks up her things and that is it. However, she can try to make this difficult by suing for wrongful eviction. To avoid this possibility, it is best to go through the steps above.

Please note: If I tell you simply what you wish to hear, this would be unfair to you. I want to be honest with you and sometimes this means providing information that is not optimal. Negative ratings are reserved for experts who are rude or for erroneous information. Please rate me on the quality of my information; do not punish me for my honesty.

I hope this helps and clarifies. Gentle Reminder: Use the SEND or REPLY button to keep chatting, or please RATE when finished. You may always ask follow ups at no charge after rating. Kindly rate my answer as one of TOP THREE FACES/STARS and then SUBMIT, as this is how I get credit for my time with you. Rating my answer the bottom two faces/stars or failing to submit the rating does not give me credit and reflects poorly on me, even if my answer is correct. I work very hard to formulate an informative and honest answer for you; please reciprocate my good faith by rating me positively.

Expert:  Ely replied 1 year ago.

Hello again. This is a courtesy check in to see if you needed anything else in regards ***** ***** question. I am simply touching base. Let me know. Thanks! If you have all the information you needed, please do not forget to rate positively. Thanks!

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