How do I evict my adult child from my apartment?

He is 24 years old, working, and not on my lease. He does not contribute to the household, refuses to abide by the verbal agreement of him living with me, is constantly disrespectfully, and at time brings illegal drugs into my home. I want to know how to I evict him from my residence before the landlord, who has complained about him in the past, starts an eviction process on me?

Asked on November 5, 2011 under Real Estate Law, New York


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

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

To evict someone from their established home, the person who is entitled to possession of the premises must sue in court. Since the lease is in your name and not your son's, you are the legal occupant so you would be the one to file for an "unlawful detainer (i.e. eviction) not your landlord. In fact, since your son pays no rent he cannot claim to be a tenant (if he was the landlord would have to evict him). He is however a "licensee"; that is someone invited to enter and remain on the premises. Now that his "license" (i.e. invitation) has been revoked he will need to be formally evicted (the same as a tenant). 

At this point it is important that you comply with all legal requirements; this includes proper notice to vacate the premises. Someone who is put out of their home in an unlawful manner is entitled to recover damages for illegal eviction in a civil suit (using illegal methods to force someone can also be a criminal violation).  Therefore self-help measures such as removing his personal belongings or changing the locks, cannot be used. Right now, you should consult with a landlord-tenant attorney for further information.

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