Can you legally lock out a person you own a house with,tenants in common and sue them for mortgage payments.

Asked about 1 year ago - Queens Village, NY

Can you legally lock out a person you own a house with, tenants in common and sue them for part of their mortgage payments? They do not want to be in the house anymore or pay their share.What kind of lawyer I need to protect my rights? Thank you.

Attorney answers (5)

  1. Steven Warren Smollens

    Contributor Level 20

    9

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Dear Queens Village Owner:

    You cannot legally lock anyone out anywhere in New York State. In New York City locking out (that is a self-help eviction ) is a crime.

    If the tenants in common do not want to be in the house anymore they can move out, so there is no reason to lock them out.

    If you have issues with Tenants in Common and you want to end your business with them, you do so with an action for partition. It is a lawsuit commenced in New York State Supreme Court.

    The subject is contained in New York Real Property Actions and Proceedings Law Article 9.

    http://codes.lp.findlaw.com/nycode/RPA/9

    A real estate attorney with litigation skills in partition actions is among the specialists you could look for.

    Good luck.

    The answer provided to you is in the nature of general information. The general proposition being that you should... more
  2. Eric Edward Rothstein

    Contributor Level 20

    7

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . You cannot lock someone out of their home. If you do you can be sued for treble damages.

    I am a former federal and State prosecutor and have been doing criminal defense work for over 16 years. I was... more
  3. Jack Richard Lebowitz

    Pro

    Contributor Level 18

    7

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . No, you can't evict them (or change the locks which is a self-help eviction without the required court permission), unless you have some kind of lease or written agreement regarding your ownership and rights of possession and responsibilities for payment to third parties like banks, other than the deed and mortgage.

    You could ask this person to quitclaim their interest to you and you'd agree to pay their share of the mortgage and other carrying charges and perhaps the bank would agree to take them off the note and mortgage (they might or might not), you'd probably have to reapply for a mortgage on your own income and credit. Or buy them out and pay off or refinance the mortgage.

    The other thing you could do would be to do a partition action, where you'd basically have to buy our their share (or the house could be sold on the courthouse steps at an auction, like a foreclosure option).

    These are the off the top of my head solutions, I would talk to a real estate attorney about how this situation should be finessed. It's not an easily solved problem, and you can't treat a co-owner like a tenant. Even if the person were just a tenant, a landlord can't evict them or lock them out without a court order of eviction, and then the Sheriff, not you, would accomplish this (the reason is to do things through legal channels and prevent potentially violent situations).

    This answer is provided under the Avvo.com “Terms and Conditions of Use” (“ToU”), particularly ¶9 which states... more
  4. Peter J Weinman

    Pro

    Contributor Level 17

    6

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . You cannot lock someone out of their home without a court order.
    Whether they will owe you mortgage payments will depend on your agreement.
    If they do not want to be in the house, why do you need to lock them out?
    You need a real estate attorney or a civil litigator with real estate experience.

    My answer is for general purposes only and is not not intended to establish an attorney-client relationship, nor... more
  5. Jayson Lutzky

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

    4

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Do not do anythng until you consult with a landlord tenant lawyer. You can not lock them out without a court order.

    If this answer is helpful, then please mark the helpful button. If this is the best answer, then please indicate... more

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