If my mother-in-law lives with us and we want her out,do we need to give notice?

My husband and I are moving and will rent. We do not want my mother-in-law to live with us.  She moved in for 1 year to help get her finances in order which turned into 9 years. We have spoken to her about this but she does not follow through. What rights do we have? We will put the house up for sale but she needs to be out. There is no signed lease.

Asked on August 1, 2010 under Real Estate Law, North Carolina


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

To get someone out of your home who you had initially invited to live with you (i.e. not a trespasser), you need to evict her. You can find the process, instructions, and forms at or from your local courts, either in person or online. Follow the instructions exactly, which will typically involve giving her a notice to leave which provides her (usually) 3 to 7 days to get out; if she then does not leave, you go court and get an order for her eviction, which after another 2 or so weeks, if she's still there, the sheriff or other local law enforcement will enforce. Do not simply lock her out, etc.--"self help" evictions are illegal. And, of course, you do not need to let her move in with you in your new premises, and in fact, you shouldn't, not even for a short time--if you do, you'll need to then evict her again. Good luck.

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