Do I have to file eviction papers to have my adult child removed from my home?

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Do I have to file eviction papers to have my adult child removed from my home?

He does not have a lease and does not pay rent.

Asked on July 30, 2011 Minnesota

Answers:

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

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

If your son paid rent (or utilities, etc) he would be considered to be a tenant. However, since he hasn't paid any form of 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 the owner's permission. Since permission has now been revoked the legal way to remove your son from the premises is to serve him with a notice to quit (typically 30 days ).  If he fails to leave at the end of that time you will have to file a formal eviction lawsuit (i.e. "unlawful detainer") in court. Once the judge enters an order to vacate the property it will be enforced by the sheriff.

What you need to do now is to speak directly with a local attorney who handles landlord/tenant cases.  They will advise you as to the correct procedures.  If you fail to comply with such procedures you could find yourself on the receiving end of a civil suit for unlawful eviction. So don't be tempted to try self-help measures such as changing the locks or removing his belongings from your home.

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

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

If your son paid rent (or utilities, etc) he would be considered to be a tenant. However, since he hasn't paid any form of 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 the owner's permission. Since permission has now been revoked the legal way to remove your son from the premises is to serve him with a notice to quit (typically 30 days ).  If he fails to leave at the end of that time you will have to file a formal eviction lawsuit (i.e. "unlawful detainer") in court. Once the judge enters an order to vacate the property it will be enforced by the sheriff.

What you need to do now is to speak directly with a local attorney who handles landlord/tenant cases.  They will advise you as to the correct procedures.  If you fail to comply with such procedures you could find yourself on the receiving end of a civil suit for unlawful eviction. So don't be tempted to try self-help measures such as changing the locks or removing his belongings from your home.


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