What are the legal options for evicting an ex-boyfriend who refuses to vacate a property that my mother owns?

I moved into a house 14 years ago, owned by mother but not inhabited by her. A year later I moved in my boyfriend at the time. He made a verbal agreement with my mother to pay $500 a month, pay for water and power, plus groceries for my son and I. Then 4 months ago I ended our relationship, moved into a separate room in the house, and asked him to be out the next month. He has not done so and continually makes the living situation for me and my son extremely unpleasant and downright hostile. He does still pay for the things he agreed to, basically.

Asked on August 26, 2011 California

Answers:

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

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Since he paid rent he is a tenant, whether or not he had a formal lease. What you (and by you I mean your mother since she is the owner) need to do is to serve him with notice to quit (30 days from the date that his next rent payment is due). After notice is given, if he still remains you will have to file for an "unlawful detainer" (i.e. an eviction lawsuit). Once a judge issues an order to vacate, the tenant will have to leave. If he still fails to do so, you can have a sheriff remove him and by physical force if necessary.

So in your situation, as tough as it may be to continue living with your ex-boyfriend, follow proper legal procedures and don't do anything by way of self-help remedies. This includes removing his personal belongings or changing the lock, etc. If you do he could end up suing you for unlawful eviction.

At this point I would consult directly with an attorney in your area who handles landlord-tenant matters. They can best advise as to your rights/responsibilities.


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