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Lucy, Esq.
Lucy, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 30167
Experience:  JA Mentor
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I live in Ohio. I owned a home prior to getting married. It

Customer Question

I live in Ohio. I owned a home prior to getting married. It wasn't working out, he wouldn't leave my house, and the only way I could get away was to leave. I've foolishly allowed him to stay there rent free for the past five years. He's kept the property in a condition that is in violation of city code and I've said nothing because of past experiences. I've basically been a pushover and allowed him to walk all over me. Now, we are getting a divorce and multiple circumstances have made me wise up as to how foolish I have been because it would be me who would be fined for the violation or sued if someone got hurt in his hoarde. I am the sole owner.
Two weeks ago I instructed him the property needed to be brought up to code and he said he would. Last week I inspected the property and took pictures to protect myself. It is still not up to code. He got mad when he found out I showed up and is telling me I am not "allowed" on the premises without his permission. He's stated it doesn't matter that I own the property since I am not living there. I've told him today that I plan on stopping by next week to inspect the progress and need access to the house as well. He is refusing to allow me to have access to my premarital home and threatening to call the cops and have me arrested if I show up. Can he do that since I own the home and we are technically still married?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 1 year ago.


I'm Lucy, and I'd be happy to answer your questions today.

If one of you has already filed for divorce, the best way to handle this may be to file a motion with the court and have the judge order your ex to grant you access. Then if he DOES call the police, you can show them a piece of paper saying that you're allowed entry. Note that you could also file a motion asking the judge to order him to vacate the premises, since you owned it prior to the marriage. You didn't forfeit the house when you left. It's still your house. He theoretically could try to argue that he has tenant's rights since you moved out so long ago, but a landlord is allowed entry with 24 hours notice, so that doesn't really help him, either.

Another option is to call the police, explain that you own the home, your husband is living in it, and he is refusing you access, and ask if they will go with you while you inspect the premises to avoid an altercation. A person can't be trespassing in their own home, but contacting police in advance could help avoid a messy scene if he calls them anyway and lies about what you're doing on the property.

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