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Can I change the locks on my home to keep an ex girlfriend

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out without legal reprocussions...
Can I change the locks on my home to keep an ex girlfriend out without legal reprocussions
Submitted: 2 years ago.Category: Legal
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Answered in 1 minute by:
9/23/2015
Lawyer: Ely, Counselor at Law replied 2 years ago
Ely
Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 102,694
Experience: Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
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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.

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Customer reply replied 2 years ago
Answer to 1 - no
Answer to 2 - yes
Answer to 3 - yes she lives here
Lawyer: Ely, Counselor at Law replied 2 years 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.

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Lawyer: Ely, Counselor at Law replied 2 years 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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DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.

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