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undocumented roommate in mitchell lama situation

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undocumented roommate in mitchell lama situation

Postby tiredsecy » Tue Aug 23, 2011 6:04 pm

My boyfriend lives in a Mitchell Lama unit with his aunt and her grown son, who is his cousin. The apartment is under his aunt's name. My boyfriend has lived there and paid rent for ten years but is not listed on the lease. His cousin was in grade school at the time he moved in and since then has graduated high school and then has dropped out of college. My boyfriend paid for his high school education and sent care packages to him when he was college, and sent him money. Now to the present: His cousin has been lending out his apartment keys to his current girlfriend who comes and goes out of the apartment at all hours, sometimes having arguments and trying to lock out his cousin, one time at 3 in the morning. The aunt refuses to make the girlfriend an extra key so the cousin lets the girl take his keys. The problem is, my boyfriend and his aunt pay the rent, the cousin and the girlfriend contribute zero to the rent and if they are pressed to give some money, disappear suddenly for a week to the girlfriend's parents' house in hopes to cool things off. Meanwhile, they enjoy crashing at a place rent-free, buy new clothing and sneakers and computers, sometimes eating the food in the house that they didn't buy, and the girl coming and going any time she likes if she doesn't feel like traveling to her bedroom at her parents. These two are over 25 years old each, so they are not kids. I wonder if my boyfriend has any say or rights since he pays a portion of the rent and this cousin does not and is bringing another non-paying body into the house part-time. The aunt says that she wants her son and girlfriend to find their own place and move out, but so far nothing is said beyond a mumbling of where's the rent every month and he cuts out. Meanwhile, I don't drop by there and if I do, it's at the express invitation of his aunt and accompanied by my boyfriend, I don't stay there or go there alone. Please advise if my boyfriend has a right to even change the lock and make a copy for his aunt and himself until the cousin moves out. Neither the cousin or the girlfriend seem particularly ambitious to move out and get their own place and seem content to live out of bags and crash. HELP.
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Postby ronin » Fri Aug 26, 2011 1:51 am

Well, your boyfriend has no real rights at all in this situation except as a licensee with respect to the aunt and as a possible successor in respect to the building. But probably lesser to the cousin who is a son to the lease holder. The aunt would have to be the one to authorize booting her son. Firstly, she has to notify him that he has to leave (and she should give him the thirty days notice in writing). And then she can proceed from there if he refuses in more official ways you can look up for her. If he is violent or threatening about it then it is a domestic violence situation and she can get an order of protection.

Their is probably also a drug issue here. The cousin and his girlfriend sound like they have a problem and must be collecting some sort of benefit to live like they do. Working people don't really have time for all of that nonsense. Your boyfriend should be very careful here. Though he and his aunt are close, the son is her son. Ultimately, he is how she raised him to be and that may make her reluctant to take action against him.
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