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Ask Barrister Your Own Question
Barrister
Barrister, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 33716
Experience:  15 yrs practice, Civil, Criminal, Domestic, Realtor, Landlord 26 yrs
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I was invited to live in a house because it was sitting

Customer Question

I was invited to live in a house because it was sitting empty and I could not afford the rent where I was living. The owner of the house is my ex-brother-in-law and he wanted someone in the house, but it was very run down. I began fixing it up. I had to put in new ceilings and fix walls and so on. I lived there 6 years and 10 months, and every year I had a new project of something I fixed. I know that is not saying much since I was living there rent free. I never wanted the house, but then the owners grandsons came and they made it clear that they want6
JA: Because real estate law varies from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?
Customer: Alabama
JA: Has anything been filed or reported?
Customer: I went by and talked to the police. I was in the process off moving, anyway, but while I was gone they went into the house and changed the locks and threw my stuff out. I had no eviction notice or anything like that. The owner says he did not have to give me one because I wasn't a tennant because I wasn't paying rent, but I think even squatters have to be evicted.
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: I'd just like to know if I can get damages for the things they destroyed and lost throwing things out.
Submitted: 2 months ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Barrister replied 2 months ago.

Hello and welcome! My name is ***** ***** I am a licensed attorney who will try my very best to help with your situation or get you to someone who can. There may be a slight delay in my responses as I research statutes or ordinances and type out an answer or reply, but rest assured, I am working on your question.

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What they did is conduct an illegal eviction and you would have the right to call the police and be put back in possession of the property. They would have to give a proper written 30 day notice to you to terminate your tenancy and then pursue a formal eviction in court before they could legally force you to leave.

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So the owner is completely in the wrong here and you could also sue them for the illegal eviction and seek punitive damages as well as compensatory damages for your property. Judges aren't very kind to landlords who take these kind of self help eviction actions.

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thanks

Barrister