Can I Change the Locks?

YES. If he has moved out and you’re to stay, then you may change the locks.

First tell him you want him to always call and/or knock when he comes over. Then put a chain on the doors so you can at least keep him definitely out when you are inside. Then if you want to take the extra step I would add a deadbolt that has a different key. Tell him you were just concerned and added it for extra safety. It seems changing locks without telling him is just putting fuel on a fire. And if his name is on the mortgage then that is all the “writing” he needs for ownership.

I disagree! If he has chosen to move out and take residence elsewhere, then regardless of whose name is on the mortgage, he has no real right to come and go as he pleases. He signed an agreement giving her residency to the house. Does the wife get a key to HIS place? Certainly not. It’s an invasion of privacy.

his name on the mortgage doesn’t mean jack as far as ownership goes. What does the deed say? My house is now deeded in MY name only while the mortgage is still in his name. He never asked for a refinance but even so, he has no ownership of the house.

Change the locks!

Yes, change the locks. You have the right by written agreement, and law, that this now your place of residence. Let him know, in writing, that you have changed the locks and that he is not allowed in the home or on the property unless you invite him. If he is found there without your permission it is domestic tresspassing and you can have him arrested. If he shows up with the police, show them the agreement but do not let him in.
Neither deed or mortgage name makes no difference. Does a landlord at an apartment building come and go whenever desired? It’s the same scenario here. In essence, this is your residence by agreement until you decide to move out. Change the locks.

If he has moved out of the house and established a new residence you can certainly change the locks to the house.

P.S. Please feel free to bring up this or any other topic on our live call-in show every Wednesday at 11:00 a.m. EST. Visit for details

Helena M. Nevicosi
Attorney with Rosen Law Firm

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Am I allowed to change the locks on the house ?

I have a written agreement that states I will live in the house until I want to move out.

His name is the only one on the mortgage. He has kept his keys to the house, and when I would decide to move - then he will move in and take his ownership (in writing).

I feel better if he does not have keys to get in - so can I change the locks ? SInce it is in writing that I am the one to live here now ?