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Alice has possessions in a storage closet that requires traversing roommate Bob's bedroom to access. There was a preexisting oral agreement granting Alice reasonable easement. Bob eventually decides to deny Alice access to this room with posted notice. Obeying this is denying Alice access to her possessions, she now cannot remove them. There is no dispute over ownership of the possessions, both declare them to be Alice's.

Q: Can Alice legally disregard this notice despite Bob's intentions? Does doing so constitute invasion of privacy or trespassing?

Related questions:

  1. How legal is this for Bob to do in the first place?
  2. Can Bob do this indefinitely?
  3. Can Alice get the law to grant easement if she can't just enter-at-will?
  4. Does it matter if there was a preexisting oral agreement granting easement?
  • How is this leased or titled? Is Alice or Bob the owner? – user662852 Feb 13 at 22:05
  • Co-tenants; so both renters with both names on the lease. No legally recognized partnership status. – Charlie Feb 13 at 22:12
3

My answer would be different if either Alice or Bob was the landlord, or the landlord had a separate agreement with Alice and Bob.

If a single lease is written, per the comment, that Alice and Bob are components of "the tenants", and "the tenants" have rented the named premises, then they all have equal rights to occupy the whole premises under the lease. If the landlord is professional I will further presume they all have joint and several liability for the whole rent; it would be inequitable to alienate Alice with joint and several liability from any part of the premises without her consent.

If there is a separate roommate agreement that allocates rooms and expected share of rent or controls behaviors, then that is a contract that can form as a meeting of the minds of the roommates where they each trade something of value, such as exclusive use of a room. The narrative suggests an original verbal agreement that Bob would like to change. That's nice but Alice doesn't have to agree; or can agree with other changes of value to her such as the ratio of expected rent reflecting the ratio of use and access to the space Alice would have.

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  • Very nice answer. – Charlie Feb 14 at 15:04

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