Legal Question in Real Estate Law in Florida

Can I change the locks and put my boyfriend's stuff in the attached garage?

I have a verbally abusive boyfriend that I'm too intimidated by to break up with face-to-face. He calls me terrible names every day, criticizes me nonstop, and while he hasn't been physically violent with me, he has been with others in front of me.

I own my house. He spends most nights at my place and does the yard work, but has his own house 20 miles away and does not receive mail or pay bills at my house, with the exception of 1-2 packages. He has a lot of stuff (including a boat) at my house, too much for me to leave on his porch or transport on my own.

Can I change the locks, put all his belongings in the garage, and text him the garage PIN code while he's gone? This would keep all his stuff protected. Can I give him a time frame via text that he has to remove it? After all, it's dated written notice? Anything else I should consider?

Asked on 7/05/13, 12:44 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Barry Stein De Cardenas, Freixas, Stein & Zachary

Hard to be sure about what you want to do and that this will not somehow inflame the situation. I think you can change your house locks and assume your house guest has had his stay ended. He is not a tenant in your mind and that is why an eviction wont be needed. If he is viewed as a tenant under the law, then you may have to do the eviction process. Remember anything you leave out in the garage is subject to him taking it or destroying it too. You may want to consider having a guard present when he is there and allow the guard to open and allow removal and then close it all up. Just a thought. Seek some legal guidance on a restraining order if appropriate.

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Answered on 7/05/13, 1:14 pm

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