If my adult brother lives with my motherand refuses to move, how can we get him out?

My brother is not on the lease nor does he pay rent or any other bills.

Asked on October 6, 2011 under Real Estate Law, New York

Answers:

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

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Since your brother has not paid your mother rent (including food, utilities, etc), then he is not a tenant; he is a "licensee".  This is someone who was invited to stay on the premises with the owner's permission.  Now that such permission as been revoked, he is subject to removal in the same way in which a tenant would be - by eviction.  Your mother will need to serve your brother written notice (for a licensee 10 days is typically sufficient).  If he does not leave by the specified date, she can then file an "unlawful detainer action" (i.e. eviction lawsuit), If the court rules in her favor, he will then be ordered by the court to vacate the premises.  If he doesn't then the sheriff will remove him, forcibly if necessary.

In the meantime she should not undertake any "self-help" measures such as changing the locks, removing his belongings, etc. If she does she could find herself on the wrong side of a lawsuit. At this point she should contact a real estate attorney who specializes in landlord/tenant matters. They can best advise her of the correct procedure to go about all of this.


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