Am I entitled to access to an apartment I pay part of the rent for even if I am not on the lease?

Question:

Am I entitled to access to an apartment I pay part of the rent for even if I am not on the lease?

I have lived with my daughter in an apartment since November 2012. I am not on the lease, but pay 1/3 of the rent and utilities. We agreed I would move out in August. Recently we had a fight and she told me she wants me out now. She even called the police to have me removed, but they said since I pay rent they can’t make me leave. She asked for the house key I have, because she was going to get a copy made. I told her I would get a copy made, because I think she is planning on not allowing me to have a key at all, and she said she does not give me permission to get a copy made. If I give her the key back and she does not get a copy made for me, what can I do? Do I have the right to have a copy made without her permission? Also, there are two locks on the door, but only one takes a key so she can lock the one without the key to deny me access. I have a 2 1/2 month old child and have nowhere else to go until August. Someone said I could call the police to force her to let me in, is this true?

Answer:

Regardless of rather or not you are on the lease, she needs a court order to force you to move. Her options include either a Forcible Detainer (eviction) or Order of Protection. Both actions have certain requirements.

However, if you and her are not getting along, I would suggest that you find somewhere else to live as quickly as possible.

Good luck!

Patrick Sampair
The Sampair Group, PLLC

Offices Valley-wide:
Arrowhead: 17235 N. 75th Avenue, Suite E-100, Glendale, AZ
City North: 5450 E High St #300, Phoenix, AZ
East Valley: 1830 S. Alma School #114, Mesa, AZ

West Valley: 623.218.1000
Phoenix: 602.997.7717
East Valley: 480.636.1333

To read more of Glendale family law attorney Patrick Sampair’s answers on Avvo and be sure to check out his family law page, or if you have a question for Mr. Sampair ask him directly at: http://www.sampair.com/.