Skip to main content

Can my in-laws kick me out if no contract was signed?

Babylon, NY |

I pay rent and receive mail here. The police informed me that I have a right to 30 days notice. They also said my in-laws can't throw my property out. They claim to have spoken to a lawyer and say that none of this is true.

I do pay $100 to live here. DH pays $500. We also both receive mail here. My in-laws claim that we're both guests and have no rights, even though the police said this isn't so. Recently, they made DH and I sign a contract saying we would be out of here by July 1st. However, this contract was not drawn up or reviewed by a lawyer.

What are our rights? We never signed any contracts before moving in, but we receive rent receipts every month.

+ Read More

Attorney answers 5


The police are correct. If you are paying rent you are renters.

But... that really doesn't do you any good unless you really want to pick a fight with your in laws. Based on the facts you gave it should like life might be easier if you found a new place to stay rather than share a home with people you are butting heads with so much, that the police got involved.


Technically they would have to give you proper notice and follow eviction procedures. The inlaws would be liable if they remove your items so they are subject to theft. If they throw your property out, you could file a complaint against them. However, I agree with my colleague, you should move as soon as possible.


They can't just throw you out. They have to follow proper eviction procedures.

I am a former federal and State prosecutor and have been doing criminal defense work for over 16 years. I was named to the Super Lawyers list as one of the top attorneys in New York for 2012 and 2013. No more than 5 percent of the lawyers in the state are selected by Super Lawyers. Martindale-Hubbell has given me its highest rating - AV Preeminent - in the areas of Criminal Law, Personal Injury, and Litigation. According to Martindale-Hubbell”AV Preeminent is a significant rating accomplishment - a testament to the fact that a lawyer's peers rank him or her at the highest level of professional excellence." Fewer than 8% of attorneys achieve an AV Preeminent rating. I also have the highest ranking – “superb” – on Avvo. Feel free to check out my web site and contact me. The above answer, and any follow up comments or emails is for informational purposes only and not meant as legal advice.


If you live there and pay money, then you are tenants and pay rent. Consult with a landlord tenant lawyer if you wish to fight the case.

If this answer is helpful, then please mark the helpful button. If this is the best answer, then please indicate it. Thanks. For further information you should see an attorney and discuss the matter completely. If you are in the New York City area, then you can reach me during normal business hours at 718 329 9500 or


Dear Babylon tenant:

Your in laws are either going to do you wrong, and illegally evict you, and get themselves in trouble, or they will figure out the correct method for making you move out from the house, legally.

It is so simple to do this legally, and the police know this, and that is the reason your in-laws were told that their idea of their right to do what they want in the house, is not allowed by law. But at the end, if they toss you out, you will need to make the criminal complaint, and that may not help advance your interests or that of your ex-family.

A New York landlord may end a month to month tenancy outside New York City with a one month notice of termination of tenancy. If your in laws go about this the right way, and assuming that your rent due date is the first of the month, they could serve the proper notice on you this month and end your right to stay in the house as of June 30, 2013. And, if you do not move out, they will start the court case and the judge will grant their request for a judgment for possession and for a warrant of eviction.

Just for a moment, your in laws have to think about this, because even if you were no more than a guest, once thirty days elapse, they could not just lock out a guest and throw away the guest's personal property. At absolute minimum the unwanted guest is a licensee entitled to a ten day notice to quit, and then if the guest/licensee does not move out, the court case could turn to the court for relief.

So whether a guest is in occupancy longer than thirty days, or a month to month tenant, there is no legal method for a self-help eviction in New York. A guest is entitled to a licensee ten day notice to quit, a month to month tenant, a one month notice of termination of tenancy.

So why not see your own lawyer?

You have free confirmation from five attorneys that you are right and the in laws are wrong, but not one of us, is likely to be standing with you and your stuff at the curb if they go along with their crazy plan.

Good luck.

The answer provided to you is in the nature of general information. The general proposition being that you should try to avoid a bad outcome if you can.

Can't find what you're looking for?

Post a free question on our public forum.

Ask a Question

- or -

Search for lawyers by reviews and ratings.

Find a Lawyer