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Q: ending a long term living together relationship. ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   6 Comments )
Subject: ending a long term living together relationship.
Category: Relationships and Society > Law
Asked by: ethel-ga
List Price: $2.00
Posted: 24 Jun 2002 08:47 PDT
Expires: 01 Jul 2002 08:47 PDT
Question ID: 32370
What legal steps can be taken if one person owns the house and has all
the bills in there name and the other person has lived there rent free
for five years plus?  There has been no violence just the fact that
the one not paying does not want to let the other out of the
relationship because they still think there is something to salvage. 
The parties are not married to one another they live in the state of
Ohio.  How can the owner force the other to get out and end the

Request for Question Clarification by mosquitohawk-ga on 24 Jun 2002 10:03 PDT

I would love to answer the question for you, but I need to ask you
what state/country you reside in. This will make a big difference in
the answer, as laws vary from state to state.

Subject: Re: ending a long term living together relationship.
Answered By: weisstho-ga on 24 Jun 2002 10:54 PDT
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Hello, ethel,

May I suggest the following:

1.  Ask the person to leave;

2.  If they refuse, explain that you will be forced to have a court
order them to leave;

3.  If they still refuse, you have the following possible remedies:

(A)  Go down to your local courthouse and ask for an eviction notice -
they should have a form that you fill out giving the other person
seven days to move out. If they don't move out, then you will be able
to ask a judge to order them evicted (this will be another form, which
the courthouse staff will also have).  Fill out the seven day notice
form and give it to the other person. Follow all of the instruction on
the form carefully.

(B)  IF YOU FEEL IN ANY SORT OF DANGER - please call the police and
ask for assistance. They can assist you in filing for a personal
protection or temporary restraining order.

If you need to serve a notice to this person, may I respectfully
request that you notify the police first of what you are going to do. 
Just in case there happens to be any trouble, they will be prepared.

Someone is bound to wonder whether the relationship created a so
called common-law marriage. Ohio does not recognize "common law
marriages" unless they were created (a) in another state by operation
of that other state's law, or (b) prior to 10/10/91.  See:

The bottom line is that this person is a tenant in your home. You are
going to evict that person. You require the assistance of the court to
evict, since we are not permitted to do that on our own.

Some might suggest that you not approach this in a landlord/tenant
context but rather in a trespass context. I don't know the specifics
of reconciling landlord/tenant with trespass in Ohio, but if Ohio is
like most states, the seven-day notice provision in the landlord act
permits you to accomplish the same thing.

Best of luck, and please, be careful.


Search Terms:


Request for Answer Clarification by ethel-ga on 25 Jun 2002 06:17 PDT
I live in the state of Ohio in the u.s.

Clarification of Answer by weisstho-ga on 25 Jun 2002 07:26 PDT
Yes, I noticed "Ohio" in your original question. Thanks very much for
getting back to me.

I hope that the staff at the courthouse will get you the various forms
that you need and help you fill them out. Sometimes, court staff won't
help fill out the forms saying that, in so doing, they are providing
"legal advice" which they cannot do.  If they cannot help you fill out
the forms, please ask them who CAN help you out.

Thanks again for using our service.
ethel-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars

Subject: Re: ending a long term living together relationship.
From: dharbigt-ga on 24 Jun 2002 11:05 PDT
I'm afraid I'm in broad disagreement with that answer, so I'm offering
this alternative answer, although I hence forego the reward... I'd
rather you come away with correct and useful information.

Item A, under Ohio State Code, this relationship does not constitute a
landlord/tenant relationship for lack of any rental agreement or
remuneration on the part of the tenant, so there is no relationship
between this situation and true tenancy.

Item B, under Section 2901.03 of the Ohio statutes, common law rulings
of any sort are abrogated, so the only way to be "married" in Ohio is
to get married.

The resolution is, rather, most likely to be fruitful on grounds of
criminal trespass (Section 2911.21, Ohio statutes), to wit (this is a
really long URL)


Simply put, since the property is clearly in the hands of the party
who wishes to part company, the request of the owner of the other
party to abandon the premises (and remove any personal belongings) is
sufficient warning before calling the police to remove the person. The
owner of the property should be courteous in trying to return the
second party's belongings, but there is no obligation to maintain
protection over them under the law.

Criminal trespass is a fourth degree misdemeanor, and if it is done
with the intention of threatening or harming a person, it becomes a
first degree misdemeanor.

Of course, I agree with point (B) totally. Don't take chances with a
confrontational situation. If you think things could get dodgy,
arrange for a safe way to remove the offender's belongings and bar
Subject: Re: ending a long term living together relationship.
From: weisstho-ga on 24 Jun 2002 11:25 PDT
I respectfully disagree with dharbigt - 

HOWEVER, IF there is any confusion, you may want to seek the
assistance of an attorney - either retained counsel that you hire, or
a legal aid attorney if you cannot afford to retain an attorney. Given
the complexity of the personal and legal relationships, the
intervention of an attorney is well warranted.

Subject: Re: ending a long term living together relationship.
From: snapanswer-ga on 25 Jun 2002 22:32 PDT
You may be passed this point, but I urge you to find a way to handle
this that does not require court orders and police escorts.  Your
question is about two things... ending the relationship AND ending
joint residence.

I can only imagine that communication has become strained between both
parties, otherwise, this difficult situation might have already been
handled through the course of normal conversation.  So here are some
things to consider:

1) The party you are trying to sever ties with likely feels that they
are losing twice over... losing an important relationship and losing a
place to live that they have naturally come to consider "home" (not to
mention living rent free).

2) One or both parties are probably angry and disappointed.

These two factors are going to cloud both the break-up and the move
out.  But, as the person in the more dominant power position, you
might consider setting aside some of your situation power to find a
more equitable and cordial resolution.  The more helpless and
powerless the other party feels, the more they tend to struggle to
find ways to resist and make things as difficult for you as possible.

Also, part of why the other person may be choosing to linger at your
home is that they hope to interact with you.  In order to make the
home a less attractive place to seek communication with you, you may
consider temporarily staying with friends for a few weeks and not
going by the house, thereby eliminating a potential motive for the
other person to hang around.  You might consider meeting the other
party once every week at a location other than the home, such as lunch
at a restaurant, to allow for any communication that needs to occur. 
Again, this diminishes the home as the place for communication (or

Depending upon your feelings towards the other person, you might
indicate that you are willing to consider repairing the relationship,
but, that you need them to find another residence while you resolve
your issues.  This separates the relationship and housing issues into
digestable chunks.

If they seem unwilling to move out after you ask them and you do not
want to repair the relationship, you may find or contrive an occasion
when the other party will be out of the house... at that time you or a
friend might be able to pack up any belongings that belong to the
other party.  Once packed, you could have it moved to rental storage,
such as Public Storage.  Even if you end up paying a storage bill for
a few months, you might find it means less interaction with a person
you no longer wish to see at your home.  (I do not suggest letting the
storage bill lapse, unless you formally evict them and have the advice
of an official or lawyer).

If you fear physical harm or stalking, definitely notify the police. 
Unfortunately, if the person does not respect your boundaries, you may
need to consider relocating.

I do not know the details of your situation, and this is by no means
legal advice.  Perhaps the justice system is your only recourse. 
However, I did note in your question that you were seeking ways to
"force" the other party to move.  If the situation allows, you may
find persuasion more effective.
Subject: Re: ending a long term living together relationship.
From: dubliner-ga on 26 Jun 2002 08:28 PDT
That must be the best two dollars' worth of legal advice anyone ever got!
Subject: Re: ending a long term living together relationship.
From: weisstho-ga on 26 Jun 2002 19:57 PDT

Beautifully done. Excellent advice.
Subject: Re: ending a long term living together relationship.
From: aceresearcher-ga on 17 Nov 2002 15:18 PST

I would like to say that I am in strong disagreement about taking off
and staying with friends for a few weeks. Leaving the house in the
custody of the non-rent-paying guest implies that they have a
legitimate claim to be there. In addition, you have no idea what they
will be doing with your property while you are gone. Your possessions
may be damaged, destroyed, sold, or thrown away. "Changing the locks"
is another thing that comes to my mind. If they did that, it would
certainly require you to negotiate with or capitulate to them just in
order to get back into your own home. I don't think you want to give
them that sort of power.

Instead, make sure that the two of you are sleeping in different
rooms. That means that the "guest", NOT you, has to move into and
sleep in the guest bedroom or other room. Spend as little time as
possible in the "common" areas of the house, to limit the "guest"s
access to you. When you are not at work, fix your dinner and take it
into your bedroom to eat. Watch TV in your room. Keep your bedroom
door shut. If the "guest" insists on bothering you, explain to them
quite firmly that the shut door means "Don't bother me". Then ask them
politely to leave you alone, and shut the door again.

Both weisstho and dharbigt have made good suggestions. However, I
would think that weisstho's suggestion should be the first thing you
can try. It gives them official, written notice, a reasonable amount
of time to comply, and is less confrontational. Calling the police to
drag the "guest" out is always a viable option, but to avoid the
possibility of such an action turning them into an angry, crazed
person determined to get even, it should be as a last resort.

Best wishes and good luck,


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