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Lucy, Esq.
Lucy, Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
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Experience:  Lawyer
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My live-in boyfriend has not been paying me rent for months

Customer Question

My live-in boyfriend has not been paying me rent for months or helping me with household expences. Now I would like him to leave. He is not on my apt lease so he really is not suppose to be at my apt in the first place. He is on probation so I thought if he continues to refuse to move I could just call the police. Does he have any right to stay in my one bedroom apt if we only had an agreement about rent? Can I just change the locks and put his possessions on the curb?
JA: Since laws vary from place to place, what state is this in? And when did this happen?
Customer: Arizona and it is happening now.
JA: Has anything been filed or reported?
Customer: no, everything in the house is mine... except for some of his personal things like clothes etc
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: Just want to know if I could call the police to have him taken out of the apt.
Submitted: 26 days ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 26 days ago.

Hi,

I'm Lucy, and I'd be happy to answer your questions today. I'm sorry to hear about your situation.

When you agreed to allow your boyfriend to move into your apartment, that created a month-to-month lease, which is enforceable. You gave yourself all the rights and obligations of a landlord, and that means police will not remove him without a court order. Unless he has done something to violate his probation, calling police would not help. The fact that he's technically not supposed to live there does not help your case, because it was your responsibility to verify whether a tenant is allowed before letting them move in. If he were removed by your landlord for that reason, he could actually sue you. So that's not the right approach at all.

There are two ways to get a court order. If you agreed when he moved in that he would pay rent or help with household expenses, and he stopped, then you can give him a five-day notice to pay the amount he owes you or vacate the premises. If he's still there on Day 6, you can go to court and file for an eviction. Here is a sample notice:

http://courts.yavapai.us/mayerjc/files/2012/02/Notice-to-Pay-or-Vacate.pdf

That could be a good option if you want the money he owes you. However, if he pays, then you have to let him stay another month. The other option is to serve him with a Notice of Termination of Tenancy, which gives him one month's notice to vacate the premises. In that scenario, you'd still have to go to court if he doesn't leave, but you'd be allowed to claim all the past rent and seek a judgment for up to two times the rent as a penalty because he illegally overstayed the notice. Ariz. Rev. Stat., Section 33-1375.

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Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 24 days ago.

Did you have any other questions about this?