What are my rights to ask a friend to leave

Friend staying with me paid rent thru end of this
month I asked to leave gave him till mid next month
because he was using drugs in my home he chose
to leave last night do I still need to serve a eviction
I’m afraid for my child’s safety and mine because of
the drug use and him coming and going all hours of
the night

Asked on September 24, 2017 under Real Estate Law, New Mexico

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

IF he has left, told you he's leaving, clearly moved out (nothing valuable left behind) and/or returned your key(s), you should not have to evict him: a tenant can voluntarily (even at landlord urging, or to avoid a pending eviction) move out, and if the tenant does return possession to you and give it up, there is not need to evict.
(Note: we are calling him a "tenant" and not your "friend" because regardless of whether he was also your friend, if he paid you rent, he was your tenant.)
If he did not clearly move out--e.g. still has the key; did not definitely tell you he was moving out; just "disappeared" but left belongings behind, so he may be returning; etc.--you would have to evict. You can only avoid the necessity of eviction when the tenant's moving out and giving up possession is completely clear and unequivocal.


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