Can I legally kick my 19 year old son out of my house?

My son is verbally abusive, disrespectful, abuses alcohol, pot and has now started taking pills. When he drinks he is very loud, very obnoxious, very rude, emotionally abuse and has destroyed my house. I have given him chance after chance to turn himself around, to no avail.

Asked on October 17, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Wisconsin


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

I will assume that your son doesn't pay rent or the like (food, utilities, etc). In such a case, in most states he will be considered to be a "licensee".  This means someone who entered and remained on the premises with the owner's permission (i.e. long term guest). Once this permission is revoked the legal way to remove him from is to serve him with a notice to quit (typically 30 days).  If he fails to leave at the end of the time specified, you will have to file and eviction lawsuit (known as an "unlawful detainer" action).  At this stage the police will be most probably refuse to get involved.  However, once a judge enters an order for him to vacate the property it will be enforced by a sheriff, using physical force if necessary.

What you need to do now is to speak directly with an attorney in your area that handles landlord-tenant cases. They will advise you on the correct procedures to follow. If you fail to comply with these procedures you could find yourself on the receiving end of a lawsuit for unlawful eviction.

Note:  If his abuse escalates, report it to the authoritites immediately. If you are put in fear for your physical safety, they will remove him immediately.

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