What to do when 1 co-tenant prohibits another co-tenant's right of access?

Question Details:I am the co-tenant of real property as JTWROS. Property is vacant but the other co-tenant has locked me out and added an alarm system. I have no access to property but I have asked the co-tenant several times for unrestricted access as I have personal property in the home. Co-tenant refuses to permit my entry. I have considered having a locksmith open but I will not be able to disarm alarm system. Police will be contacted by the alarm company. Would I be arrested for trespassing? Do I need a real estate lawyer to help me gain access? I'm in Wayne County, MI.

Asked 5 years ago under Real Estate | 1312 Views | More Legal Topics

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J.M.A., Member in Good Standing of the Connecticut Bar | FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney Answered 5 years ago

If you are a co-tenant, then you have equal access to the property as the other tenant.  It is not clear whether your claim is that you are co-owners of the real estate or tenants in the sense that you both pay rent to a landlord.  If you pay rent to a landlord, the landlord will be the one to resolve this as he can access the property and the co-tenant that put the alarm in was prohibited from doing so without permission and the landlord can get you the access you need.  If you are co-owners then you need to call the police and hire a lawyer to discuss splitting up the property or selling the property.  Speak to a lawyer immediately after you access the property so this does not continue.

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