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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
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    4

    Default Can a Co-Owner Evict Unwanted Moocher Houseguest

    My question involves real estate located in the State of: New York

    Can I evict an unwanted houseguest if a co-owner wants him/her to stay?

    My brother-in-law and his 12-yr-old son have been living in my house for over 2 1/2 years without paying any rent. I put my wife on the title as co-owner and she wants him to continue to stay with us. Can I serve eviction papers in this situation?

    I have three kids of my own, between 6 and 10 years old mixed girls and boy, all still living in one small bedroom. I need the extra space for my eldest daughter to have her own room.

    Thanks for any advice.

    * * *

    Some additional details in case anyone's interested ( it just gets worse ):

    Brother-in-law is a legal immigrant whose immigration I unwisely sponsored (believe it was a form I-864). However I'm not too concerned about that because as I understand it, it means that he either has to be a ward of the state or take means-based assistance to which he's not legally entitled in order for me to have any liability.

    My wife brought her parents over and they lived in our apartment rent-free for two years until we moved out to another apartment. I should have learned my lesson obviously, but she hounded me for a long time to let her brother stay with us to help him create a better life for his son in the US. I agreed on terms that he would stay only a year.

    Wife and I are nearing divorce but the house is 150k underwater so it's not an easy solution to just sell the house.

    After two years the brother-in-law agreed reluctantly to pay a tiny nominal rent, but he hasn't made any of those payments.

    Help!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
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    72,947

    Default Re: Can I As Co-Owner Evict Unwanted Moocher Houseguest

    No, you can't evict your wife's house guests. You may think of them as vampires, but if your wife invites them in they're free to come in and suck your blood. This is something you need to work out with your wife.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    4

    Default Re: Can I As Co-Owner Evict Unwanted Moocher Tenant

    But what if I can show they are really a tenant, not a guest?

    Legally if they have mail delivered, live full-time, have car registered at that address etc isn't there a distinction?

    As a landlord / co-owner of a non-paying tenant can my wife force me to allow her brother's family to live with us? Also, the house is probably not even zoned as a two-family - wouldn't the town help out in this case?

    Thanks,

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    27,021

    Default Re: Can I As Co-Owner Evict Unwanted Moocher Tenant

    Quote Quoting StumpedNY
    View Post
    But what if I can show they are really a tenant, not a guest?

    Legally if they have mail delivered, live full-time, have car registered at that address etc isn't there a distinction?

    As a landlord / co-owner of a non-paying tenant can my wife force me to allow her brother's family to live with us? Also, the house is probably not even zoned as a two-family - wouldn't the town help out in this case?

    Thanks,
    you are missing the point. Your wife can and obviously is allowing them to live there. It matters not if they are a tenant or a guest.

    if your 2 family situation is illegal, all the town will do is fine you for breaking the ordinance. They are not going to evict your guest/tenant because they have no right to do so. They will simply fine you.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    4

    Default Re: Can I As Co-Owner Evict Unwanted Moocher Houseguest

    What if I were just to start eviction proceedings without my wife knowing? She may not even be aware of the fact that she as co-owner can allow them to stay.

    Alternatively what would stop me then from just moving anyone I want into another room as my own full-time moocher?

    It's an infuriating situation. I pay all the expenses and use the property the least.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    27,021

    Default Re: Can I As Co-Owner Evict Unwanted Moocher Houseguest

    what is to stop you? Um, maybe the judge that you will have to face and give reason why you are evicting the guy. When the guy says your wife allows him to stay there, the judge isn't going to be very happy with you.


    As Mr. K stated, this is something between you and your wife, not the brother in law or the courts.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    4

    Default Re: Can I As Co-Owner Evict Unwanted Moocher Houseguest

    That's quite discouraging. How can the law allow this? I can't believe that my legal options are to basically either sell my house and/or divorce my wife to prevent a relative from living rent-free in my own house at my expense.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Can I As Co-Owner Evict Unwanted Moocher Houseguest

    The law can allow it because in your marriage you are considered a single entity in this case. Your wife has the exact same legal ability to allow the guest to stay as you have to evict him - but the court isn't going to listen to a two-headed co-owner when each head is staying something different. So long as your wife has the legal ability to ALLOW the guest to be there, the law's hands really are tied. Either you and your wife get on the same page, or you divorce her and request the residence, at which point only YOUR opinion will matter. Until you as a unified entity of a married couple are in unison or no longer a unified entity, you're stuck.
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