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  1. #1
    joseph_duarte is offline Junior Member
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    Question Can I kick out my girlfriend and change the locks?

    I recently moved to austin, tx with my girlfriend, she has been in/out of 5 jobs in 3 years, so I have been supporting her on/off. She lives with me with no lease agreement and has being contributing to the rent for the past year, and gets her mail here. I have just found out she has been cheating over a year. And I want her out.

    Her "rent" is paid until the end of the month. I understand that if she does not leave I have to formally evict her if this was a standard landlord/tenant situation, but its not really. This situation is boyfriend/girlfriend. What I want to do is simply move all her stuff outside, change the locks. What is the downside to this from a criminal and civil point of view?

    I am worried that she is going to destroy property in the house, and my business is in the house with secure documents, servers, trade secrets. Etc. If I put her belongings on the lawn right now and change the locks. What legal recourse does she have, and secondly can she get the police to force their way into the house? I want her out of my life today, not in 3 weeks after she can do considerable damage.

    I confronted her yesterday and my car was already vandalized in my drive way after she left the property, I can prove she did it, but seems likely she had it done.

    It's my house, my business, we have no written agreement, I want her out.

    I want to know:

    1. If I put her stuff on the lawn and change the locks what can the police do?

    2. What can she do civilly?

    Thanks,


    Joseph
  2. #2
    OldandTired is offline Member
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    Since you are the only one named on the lease, (assuming here), put her things out ONLY if they cannot be destroyed, or stolen. Since this would really be a domestic dispute, and since she is not on the lease, should she call the police, she would be advised to leave the property.

    Just make sure nothing is damaged or stolen. If that means you have to sit there in the window for 5 hours waiting for her to return, then that sounds like 5 hours well invested. If wives can throw their husbands out for things like this, a boyfriend can throw his cheating girlfriend out too.

    Even if she wants to take you to court, she's not on the lease, and has no rights to the property if she no longer lives there.
  3. #3
    ecmst12 is offline Senior Member
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    If you lock her out, the police will let her back in. She can sue you for illegal eviction. You must give her proper written notice, and evict her through the courts if she does not leave when the notice expires. If SHE wrecks YOUR things, you can sue her for the damage. But it won't let you evict her without a court order. If she does destroy your things, you may be able to file in less then 30 days though. Consult a local landlord attorney because you ARE, like it or not, her landlord.

    Please ignore the incorrect and dangerous advice from "Oldandtired".
  4. #4
    JETX is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by joseph_duarte View Post
    I understand that if she does not leave I have to formally evict her if this was a standard landlord/tenant situation, but its not really. This situation is boyfriend/girlfriend. What I want to do is simply move all her stuff outside, change the locks. What is the downside to this from a criminal and civil point of view?
    First thing you should do is to IGNORE 'oldandtired'... since his/her post is 110% crap and will get you in trouble.

    Second, even though you think the circumstances are different than a 'normal' landlord-tenant, they aren't. In the 'eyes of the law', you are her landlord and she is your tenant. You will need to comply with all the requirements of the 'normal' eviction, including 30 day WRITTEN notice and, if she refuses, filing an 'unlawful detainer' suit.
    Last edited by JETX; 12-13-2008 at 02:42 PM.
  5. #5
    ecmst12 is offline Senior Member
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    You CAN, however, put a lock on your office door to protect your business equipment and files....and I would definitely suggest that.
  6. #6
    Alaska landlord is offline Senior Member
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    Weigh your options carefully before you act. Is it worth getting sued for illegal eviction or risk losing more damage to the house and loss of your business. To me, it seems pretty clear and if I were in your place I would risk the possible financial loss due to court action initiated by her.

    If the police insist on letting her in, just say no. File a police report on the damage to your vehicle and place a restraining order on her while you are at it.




    Oldandtired has it right!!
  7. #7
    OldandTired is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by JETX View Post
    First thing you should do is to IGNORE 'oldandtired'...

    In the 'eyes of the law', you are her landlord and she is your tenant.
    There is no landlord/tenant relationship here. Get that out of your mind. Understand this part? NO LANDLORD / TENANT RELATIONSHIP!

    These are 2 people living together, and one got caught with her hand in someone else's cookie jar. Throw her out and worry about if she's really stupid enough to want to get this into court. The ONLY REASONS she would have for suing you is if something happened to her property. It would behoove you to video-tape the removal of her property, and the placement of it outdoors, and her arriving to see it, (please email me a copy so I get to see the look on her face), so you can prove nothing happened to her property up to the point she arrived to claim it outdoors.

    She will not be trying to take you to court because she just wants to live there. Forget that. Throw her out and change the locks. This is a domestic dispute and NOTHING MORE.
    Last edited by m martin; 12-14-2008 at 11:37 AM.
  8. #8
    joseph_duarte is offline Junior Member
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    It's a tough decision. I guess the #1 thing I care about is what the police think they have as rights? As far as I understand in texas especially, unless a crime is being committed or they have search warrant they can not enter the house. 50% of people I consult with say you CAN lock her out, but she can sue of course cilivlly -- I am not worried about this. But, I am worried about the police having a misunderstanding of what their powers are then letting her back in the house, creating a problem.

    I feel like if the shoe was on the other foot and my girlfriend caught me cheating and locked me out, there wouldn't be a cop on the planet that would do anything, he would say its a civil matter, he might escort me in to get a few things, but that's about it.

    However, I always feel our laws are lopsided in favor of women when they are the guilty parties. Thus, I feel like the smartest thing to do is file a formal eviction, etc. But, that's asking for damages.

    But, I am basically creating a huge risk, I can't move a 3200 square foot house out over night and my biz is here, servers, lab, product, etc. And I can't have someone here 24/7, so I have to leave the house to do biz.

    I feel like I am going to do the "right thing" and get punished for it. Hence, for once I would just like to stop triple guessing what the legal system, police, judges might think since I have never seen 2 that give the same advice.

    Frustrating..

    Joseph
  9. #9
    cyjeff is offline Senior Member
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    Then the better answer would have been to call the police and have her arrested for the crimes committed.

    Playing the "I will throw you out and see what you can do about it" game is silly and legally suspect.

    A resident has to be evicted via the avenues provided by law. Period.

    To the OP, I would not only put that lock on that door, but I would also video every inch of that apartment in order to buttress any further claims.
  10. #10
    Alaska landlord is offline Senior Member
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    OP, you do not have to let the police into your house if they do not have a warrant. You can if you decide not even open the door and talk to them from the other side. As for legal rights, yes she can sue, but most likely does not have the money or the will. This is a civil matter and the police don't like to get involved.

    I don't care what kind of lock you put on the door, chances are she will either break the door down or have her new BF remove the door from the frame. If she wants in, she will get in.
  11. #11
    joseph_duarte is offline Junior Member
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    I think the best course of action considering all the input is to let the 15 days run out on the rent. Our agreement is verbal, she agreed to leave on the 1st, at that time, I will put her stuff on the lawn, change the locks. Civilly she might have grounds, but we made an agreement and since it was verbal, neither can prove it either way. Her rent is paid till the 1st, so after that our agreement is she gets out, my word against hers. This should be good protection in court, and the police shouldn't get involved since she hasn't paid rent, and agreed to be out on the 1st.

    Second, I will file a formal eviction to start that process.

    As far as locks on my office, its in the master bedroom, and her clothes and belonging are in the bathroom, if I try to get her to move them she will go ballistic, when you catch someone in the act like this cheating they have a lot of anger. This is why I want her out of the house, I feel like she is going to do something.

    Its a pretty pathetic state of affairs when one person doesn't feel safe in their own house and there is little they can do about it UNTIL something happens and its too late.

    Joseph
  12. #12
    Gail in Georgia is offline Senior Member
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    Have you not read anything that you've been told here?

    You cannot simply place her things out on the front lawn and change the locks WITHOUT A COURT ORDERED EVICTION.

    What you can do is follow what your state requires to terminate a month to month tenancy. This involves a WRITTEN notice to end the tenancy. If she refuses to leave at the end of this period, you must follow the requirements.

    The fact that she cheated on you plays no role in any of this. She is a tenant (has paid rent, receives mail at the address) and thus the above rules must be followed or you may find yourself in court being sued by her.

    Gail
    Last edited by m martin; 12-14-2008 at 11:35 AM.
  13. #13
    ecmst12 is offline Senior Member
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    She is allowed on the premesis as she is a legal resident. You do not have to allow her access to the ENTIRE house, you can move her belongings into another bedroom/bathroom. The only problem is if the bathroom attached to the master bedroom is the ONLY bathroom, you have to allow her access. But as long as there is another place for her to sleep and use the toilet/shower, you do have the right to secure YOUR belongings against damage.

    Gender has nothing to do with it. If she had been the leaseholder and you cheated on her, you would have the same rights to WRITTEN notice of termination of tenancy, and you could not legally be locked out without a court order. Cheating is not a crime and does not give you the right to throw her out without following the law.
  14. #14
    OldandTired is offline Member
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    So the next time someone gets on here and asks about throwing the cheating spouse out, I'm coming back to this post and quoting every one of these statements.

    While they will be incorrect, I'll give the benefit of the doubt and quote them. This is not a landlord/tenant issue. This is a domestic dispute, not anything different about this than if they were married. They cohabitate together. They were once lovers. She cheated and he wants her out of his lawfully established residence.

    Throw her things out and keep the video rolling on the pile until she arrives to claim her belongings. Change the locks and bid her well. Let us know later if the grass really was greener on the other side.
  15. #15
    OldandTired is offline Member
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    And since this is a house, I'm assuming there are other bedrooms. If you want to give her until the 1st, move her belongings to another part of the house, providing her with a bedroom and a bathroom. Video-document everything! Change the locks on your bedroom door. Add them if there are none.

    Make certain that any room that has a door on it, that she is not entitled access to, has a lock on it. Do it now and avoid the fuss later.

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