How can I legally evict my ex-boyfriend out of my apartment?

My ex-boyfriend and I broke up and will not leave my apartment. I am the on-site manager so I can’t get up and leave. How can I get him out. He does not receive any mail there, he receives all his mail to his mother’s house. Doesn’t pay any rent or utilities.

Asked on June 4, 2012 under Real Estate Law, California


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

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Since your ex-boyfriend has not paid you rent (or any form of rent such as food, utilities, etc), then he is not a tenant. However, he is a "licensee"; this is someone who was invited to stay on the premises with the legal occupant's permission. Now that you have revoked your permission, he is subject to removal in the same way in which a tenant would be, that is by eviction. You now need to deliver to your ex a written notice to vacate (depending on how long that he has lived there it may be for 30 or 60 days). If he does not leave by the specified date, you can then file an "unlawful detainer action" (i.e. eviction lawsuit). Once the court issues you a writ of possession he will then be ordered to vacate the premises. If he doesn't, then the sheriff can remove him for you.

In the meantime, don't be tempted to take any "self-help" measures such as changing the locks, etc. If you do you could find yourself on the wrong end of a lawsuit. Right now you should contact a tenant's right organization or real estate attorney that specializes in landlord-tenant cases. They can best advise you of the correct procedure to go about all of this. You can also contact the local court to see if they have a pamphlet/website that gives this information.

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