Do I need an eviction notice to remove an adult child from my home?

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Do I need an eviction notice to remove an adult child from my home?

There is no formal lease. He has been living here and refuses to work. He withdrew from college last semester and has become violent.

Asked on July 1, 2015 under Real Estate Law, New Jersey

Answers:

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

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

If your son has put you in fear for your safety, then you should contact the police and get an order of protection. They will then remove him from the premises. However, without more details, I don't know if your situation would rise to the level of being able to get such an order.

If not, then you have other legal remedies. Does your son pay rent (or for food, utilties or the like)? If he so, then he is a tenant and in that case you would have to file for a formal eviction. If he pays no rent, etc, then in most states he would be deemed to be a "licensee" (i.e. someone who was allowed onto the premises and allowed to stay, at least for a time). In that case, and depending on the state that you are in, you would file for a "notice of ejectment". Basically, the result of either of the foregoing actions are the same - you would to be able to legally have your son removed from your home (and physically by the authorites if necessary).

However, the steps for all of this must be correctly followed or else your case can be thrown out. What you should do now is to speak directly with an attorney in your area who handles landlord-tenant cases. They will advise you on the correct procedures in your state. If you fail to comply with these procedures, you could find yourself on the receiving end of a lawsuit for unlawful eviction. In the meantime, do not take any self-help measures such as changing the locks or throwing his things on the front lawn, etc. Again, this could cause legal trouble for you.


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