Ex Living At My Expense

Question: My ex-wife has kicked me out of my own apartment and I can’t terminate the lease. What can I do?

I am in a dilemma, now I had gotten a home rental lease in Union Pier, Michigan, and I signed it. I inquired to the landlord's legal assistant about my ex-wife moving in but I did not want her on the lease in any way. She said she must sign it so we know who is occupying the premises. Now here is my problem, I was lied to and she signed a tenancy agreement which I failed to notice. Now the woman had me thrown out of my house as she got a personal protection order against me. It is my house; I pay the bills and don't want to break the lease as it will ruin my credit. The landlord claims nothing can be done but as I said I inquired about this before she moved in. I am the primary lease holder with an option to buy and she is no way affiliated. Please help what can I do?

Answer: Your situation is very unfortunate. I do believe that you should have been able to obtain the lease without your ex wife on the lease. Almost all leases allow for guests. However, from a legal standpoint that is water under the bridge. I don't believe the landlord has any liability to you and you have signed on the lease. I recommend that you find an attorney in the area to fully examine your rights and pursue them for you. For example, the attorney may be able to get an agreement with the landlord for you to stop paying rent and then evict the ex when she fails to pay. You would then reimburse the landlord for the unpaid rent to date of eviction and the legal expenses. But at least she wouldn't be living in the apartment at your expense. Possibly the attorney could file suit against her for failure to pay for the cost of the apartment she is living in. This will be expensive any way you go, but really she put you in such a bind that you have no choice but to obtain legal counsel who can go to court for you and pursue your rights one way or another.

Attorney: Mark Miller

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