Can You Legally Kick Your Ex Out If You Live Together In New York State?
I recently came across a TikTok from a landlord, where he shares a story about a crazy ex. He says the couple moved into one of his properties, but only the man's name was on the lease. I'll make his long story short. Basically, the couple split up. The guy ends up going to New York, but he's still paying rent on the unit. He and the woman he moved into the unit with had been broken up for three to four months, according to the landlord. She hadn't been living there during the breakup. She ended up breaking into the house and living there (while he was was still in NY). Both the man and the landlord agreed that she shouldn't be there, but the police refused to make her leave. They told the landlord that he needed to evict her.
@magicmansteve1 #crazy #tenant #landlord #rentalproperty #rent #eviction #police #harrasment #squatters ♬ Creepy and simple horror background music(1070744) - howlingindicator
If You Live With Your Significant Other, Can You Kick Them Out If You Break Up?
If you and your boo live together (married or not) and you break up, is it illegal to kick them out of the house? I mean think about it...if you have a fight serious enough to cause a breakup, do you really want to continue to live under the same roof with them?
Are They On The Lease Or The Deed?
The first question to consider is, are they on the rental lease or deed to the house? If so, you're going to probably have to see a lawyer or prove that they are a danger to you, in order to kick them out. Or, maybe you could ask really nicely (it might be worth a try). But if your ex's name is on the lease and they don't want to leave, it's not looking up for you, according to Legal Beagle,
If he also has a right to possess the property because he’s your co-tenant, the easiest recourse may be to relocate yourself if you don’t want to live with him any longer. You both have a legal right to the dwelling.
There may be one legal out for you in this case. If your ex has threatened you or harmed you, a judge may grant you a restraining order, forcing them to move out as they cannot legally be within a certain distance of you. Keep in mind, in this case, it's at the judge's discretion.
Tenants' Rights In New York State
Now, let's take a look at what happens if your ex is not on the lease or deed. If they don't officially live with you, but spend a few nights a week at your house, then return home, you most likely won't have any issue kicking them out legally. However, if they aren't on the paperwork, but consider your home their primary residence and have done so for 30 days, you won't be able to just ask them to leave.
How Does New York State Define A Tenant?
In New York State, a person can claim they are a tenant, even without a written lease (depending on how long they have been staying with you - see more on that below). According to New York's Attorney General Letitia James,
A lease is a contract between a landlord and a tenant that contains the terms and conditions of the rental. It cannot be changed while it is in effect unless both parties agree. Leases for apartments that are not rent stabilized may be oral or written.
In New York State, a person who has occupied the property for 30 days becomes a tenant. Once your former bae becomes a tenant, you cannot just ask them to leave. They will have tenant's rights and you will have to legally evict them before they can be removed from your home.
Apartments.com says (this is directed to the landlord, but applies in this situation),
If it becomes clear to you the guest is helping the tenant pay rent (while also living there), is receiving mail at the property, spends every night at the property, has moved in furniture or pets, or is making maintenance requests, then it’s likely this guest has established residency in your property without your approval.
Most likely, if your ex has been cohabitating with you, they have been doing all of the above.
How Do You Legally Get Rid Of Your Unwanted Ex?
Once your boyfriend or girlfriend has established tenancy in your home, you can only remove them through a legal eviction if they don't pay rent. Or you would need to give them written notice to vacate the property,
If you have lived in your apartment for less than one year, or have a lease for less than one year, your landlord must provide you with 30 days' advanced notice before raising your rent or not renewing your lease.
The bottom line is, don't let all those warm bubbly feelings of "love" cloud your judgment. Seriously consider your future with your significant other before you take the step of moving in together.
***This article is not intended to provide legal advice