Under what circumstances can a long term guest/tenant be evicted?

My 2 children and I moved in with my fiance a year ago. I have been contributing to more than half of the mortgage and utilities. There is no written agreement. We are now parting ways but are remaining in the home for now for the children’s sake. I am interested in lowering my contribution. I want to know if he can legally evict us at any moment?

Asked on September 19, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Texas

Answers:

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

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

At this point, since you have contributed to the mortgage payments and utility bills, you are considered to be a tenant in the eyes of the law. Since there is not formal written lease, you are a month-to-month tenant. Accordingly, upon 30 days notice, you can be asked to remove yourself from the premises. if you fail to leave by the specified date then the lawful occupant, your ex-boyfriend, will have to go to court and file an "unlawful detainer action (i.e. eviction lawsuit). If you still fail to leave by the vacate date, then he can have the sheriff come and forcibly remove you. The whole process (30 day notice, court-ordered eviction, and removal) can take between 2-3 months (depending on your particular jurisdiction).

In the meantime, if he takes any action against you, such as changing the locks or removing your belongings, you could sue him for wrongful eviction.

At this point you should consult with a tenant rightsorganization in your area, or with an attorney who specializes in landlord-tenant cases.


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