Do I have to evict my ex-girlfriend if she is staying at a friend’s house but won’t move her stuff or give me my key back?

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Do I have to evict my ex-girlfriend if she is staying at a friend’s house but won’t move her stuff or give me my key back?

I wasn’t aware that I had to pay $300 via court eviction to get her out. She’s not on the lease, nor is she paying me anything. I know those two things are irrelevant though. She called the cops because I told her to get out, and they told me that if she sleeps here and gets her mail here, she lives here, everything else is irrelevant. Now she says she doesn’t “feel comfortable” staying here so she’s sleeping at a friends house but refuses to give me my key or get her stuff out. Even if she does give me my key and move out and I change the locks, what’s to say she can say she never moved out?

Asked on May 14, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Florida

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

The police are incorrect--whether or not she lives there, if  she is guest, you have the legal right to ask her to leave; and if she is not on the lease and is not paying rent (and did not help buy the house), she is a guest, not a tenant. Receiving your mail someplace does not give you any residence or tenancy rights.

That said, the police often simply refuse to get involved in cases like this, especially if the other party claims he or she has a right to live there--in cases like that, the police want the courts to resolve the matter.

You should bring a legal action--probably an "ejectment" action, not an eviction one, since eviction is for tenants--and seek a court determinate that she has no rights to possess or reside at your home. You can also get  court order requiring her to move out fully by a certain date, and if she does not, court officers (e.g. constables or sheriff's deputies) wll help you. It would be best  if you retained an attorney to help you bring this action. Good luck.


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