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Can DP change the locks and refuse me entry?

(15 Posts)
ArghMIL Fri 02-Jan-15 16:13:43

It is very likely I will be leaving. DP is not himself right now so whilst I would normally say this wold be unlikely there is a possibility that he may change the locks if I go back to my parents for a few days. They live at the other end of the country.

The house is his entirely, we are not married and have no children so it's fairly straightforward but I do have a lot of furniture and belongings - more than him! If he changes the locks do I have a right of entry (have bills in my name, lived there for years and am on the electoral roll there) and how do I enforce it please? TIA flowers

SoupDragon Fri 02-Jan-15 16:18:29

I suspect he can change the locks if the house is entirely his and you aren't married.

I would remove my things and leave at the same time to avoid any issues.

dorasee Fri 02-Jan-15 16:23:34

You may need a court order. I know my DH's ex did this to him (joint mortgage/married at the time) and he could not freely access the property once he left and she changed the locks. He needed to do so with a court order. It didn't come to that in the end. The ex finally agreed to allow him access on specific dates so he could get his stuff. Her sister kept an eagle eye on him as he collected his things and he brought a mutual friend of theirs along with him. So it was all above board, but still humiliating. Anything of his which had been lost or damaged during the time he was denied access she had to replace or pay for.

What you need to do is make a detailed itinerary of your belongings (everything that was yours prior to living together plus items you both purchased when together). You should know the rough value of each item. It's tedious but worth drawing up.
I would seek the advice of a solicitor. It doesn't matter whether you're married or not. This has been your home and you need to be aware of your rights.

HowCanIMissYouIfYouWontGoAway Fri 02-Jan-15 16:25:28

I think you would be best off going to a solicitor and getting the legal view on it.

I agree with soupy that it would be best to remove your property when you leave if at all possible. That will be easier than going to court to get them to make him give you your things, if he is going to be difficult.

How much can you prove is yours? You need to get evidence of what you have paid for.

If he is difficult about it, I suspect it will mean taking him to court for your stuff.

I don't know what your right of entry is - do you have any sort of tenancy agreement? I know the house is his but are you his tenant or anything (I know sometimes that is done?) Talk to a solicitor.

Take anything vital with you - your passport, bank statements and other important docs, anything that is your ID like your drivers licence and so on, anything that proves you live there, plus jewellery, photos etc, in case you can't get back in right away to collect things.

ArghMIL Fri 02-Jan-15 16:25:48

Thanks soupdragon, that isn't possible as I'm partially disabled at the moment so will struggle to get myself to my parents as it is. I know, from a friend's court case, that he would have no right to hang onto my passport so I could possibly leave it here (don't need it until March) and use that to gain entry if he changes the locks? We have lived together for 4 years, have a joint account etc.

ArghMIL Fri 02-Jan-15 16:29:18

Thanks everyone. This seems more complicated than I expected. I will collect things I definitely don't want to lose. He hates clutter so I don't think he would fight me for anything but he might refuse to let me in and then dump my stuff.

HowCanIMissYouIfYouWontGoAway Fri 02-Jan-15 16:29:36

what right of entry do you think your passport in the house (assuming he won't destroy it/remove it/deny it's there) give you?

Please also take your money out of the joint account and consider changing any income so that it goes into an account only you have access to.

You have to think worst case scenario - he empties the joint account, won't give you access to the house and chucks out all your vital documents. Now possibly that won't happen, probably it won't - but you have to plan for the absolute worst and hope for the best!

ArghMIL Fri 02-Jan-15 16:30:47

One of the things I am particularly keen on in an enormous Welsh dresser I found for 50 quid! I need a removal van for that though grin

ArghMIL Fri 02-Jan-15 16:35:18

Joint account thankfully is only for the bills.

Friend's Dad was the subject of a court order allowing her, supervised, into the house to collect passports as he was refusing to hand them over to her and her other family members. Passports are not the property of the individual, therefore it was the easiest way they found to gain access to the home.

I have a substantial amount of money I was saving for our wedding in my name only (about 7k), therefore in the long run I should be okay.

SoupDragon Fri 02-Jan-15 16:38:18

I would hire a storage unit and get a removal company to move my stuff from the house. You wouldn't need to physically do anything.

ArghMIL Fri 02-Jan-15 16:50:06

Thanks soupdragon, that's a really good idea. I could get one locally and when I am better/more settled do the long journey with everything.

SoupDragon Fri 02-Jan-15 17:01:41

I just think it's better to preempt any potential problems rather than try legal recourse if it all goes wrong.

Good luck!

Theboulderhascaughtupwithme Fri 02-Jan-15 17:11:19

OP I strongly suggest what previous poster said. Do all you can right now to avoid leaving the house and giving him the chance to change locks etc. Not sure how much these things cost but 7k, whilst a not insubstantial sum, would quickly be eaten up if he fights you and it has to go to court.

Hire a man/ men and vans, storage unit ( round my way a normal sized one is about £40 a month) and get out in one go.

Good luck

caroldecker Fri 02-Jan-15 17:26:05

Could he apply for an overdraft on the joint account - you would be jointly liable, so may be worth contacting them to prevent this.

ArghMIL Fri 02-Jan-15 17:35:38

Thanks. Don't think applying for an overdraft would occur to him - he has 70k in the bank and 2 houses so really never thinks about money at all. I can get my name taken off the account on Monday.

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