If I let some people come stay with me on a temporary basis and now they will not leave, what do I do?

I was trying to helps some people out and they needed a place to stay. I let them come stay at my home and they have never left. I have tried serving them eviction notices and now want to serve them a 24 hour notice. If they are not gone after the 24 hours can I lock them out of my house? There is no rental agreement.

Asked on October 13, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Oregon

Answers:

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

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

If they paid rent they are tenants; if they did not they are "licensees" (i.e. long term guests if they have lived on the premises for 30 days or longer). Typically in such a situation you need to serve these occupants with a 30 day notice. If they fail to leave by the date specified in the notice, then you will have to file for an eviction lawsuit in court (called an "unlawful detainer"). At such point that a judge issues an order for them to vacate the premises they must go. If not, you can have a sheriff forcibly remove them if necessary.

Whatever you do, do not attempt any self-help remedies. This means do not remove their belongings, or change the locks, or shut-off the utilities, etc. If you do, they could sue you for unlawful eviction.


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