What steps would my mother have to take to have my brother removed from her home?

He has lived with her for years and doesn’t pay a nickel for anything.

Asked on October 13, 2015 under Real Estate Law, New Jersey


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

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

If your brother paid rent he would be considered to be a tenant. Accordingly, your mother would need to go through a formal eviction proces. And since there is no lease, he would be a month-to-month tenant so 30 day notice to vacate would be required. However, since he hasn't paid any rent, the law in most states is that he will be considered to be a "licensee". That is someone who entered and remained on the premises with permission typically an occupant for a month or more. Since permission has now been revoked the lawful way to remove him from the premises is to serve him with a notice to quit generally 3-10 days. If he fails to leave at the end of that time, your mother will still have to go through a formal eviction process i.e. "unlawful detainer" action. This means filing in court once an order for him to vacate the property is issued it will be enforced by the sheriff if necessary.
What she needs to do now is to consult directly with an attorney in her area. They will advise her on the correct procedures to follow.  If she fails to comply with them, she could find herself being sued for unlawful eviction. So she should not be tempted to try self-help measures such as changing the locks or removing his belonging from her home.

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