Can a landlord force someone to move by turning of utilities?

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Can a landlord force someone to move by turning of utilities?

The house iIam living in is owned by my parents. I was paying them rent until I lost my job; it’s been a year now since I worked and they agreed I wouldn’t have to pay until I found a job. Wednesday my step-dad came over and told me that I have to move by next week or he is turning off the utilities. Is this legal? And does he have to abide by the same landlord/tenant laws?

Asked on July 15, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Oregon

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

1) No, it is illegal for landlords to do "self-help" evictions; they can't try to evict someone by turning off the utilities. They have to go through the courts.

2) If you have not been paying rent, you probably a guest, not a tenant. That means that your parents could ask you to leave and, if you don't, they could then go to court on a short notice to evict you. So your parents have an absolute right to evict you if they want.

Generally speaking, the eviction process is the same as for landlord/tenant situations, but since you are not paying rent and have no written lease, the notice requirements--the warning they have to give you--is shorter and they ask you to leave for any reason.


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