Mapleton, IL asked in Civil Litigation and Landlord - Tenant for Illinois

Q: Do I have the right to change the locks or deny access to the house for items?

My long term girlfriend 3 1/2 years moved out after cheating and moving in with a married couple around 2 hours away. Everything in the home including title work, hills, etc is all in my name. She does get some mail and bills of her own at the address. After a long period of lying and deception, she finally admitted to everything and I do not trust her alone in my home. She wants to come get her items, do I have the authority to say no or have her make an appointment when I am there? Can I change the locks to deny access while I am not home?

1 Lawyer Answer
James G. Ahlberg
James G. Ahlberg
  • Landlord Tenant Lawyer
  • Rochelle, IL
  • Licensed in Illinois

A: While you have no right to keep her personal property, you have the right to impose reasonable conditions on how she gets it back. That includes requiring the items be recovered while you are present. If your assessment of her as a liar is accurate, be sure you have a friend with you when she is in the residence -- having an independent witness present may prevent her from claiming you attacked her while she was there. (This happens more frequently than you may think.) If you own the house you have the right to change the locks. Under the circumstances you describe I recommend that you do this anyway.

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