Do I need to serve an eviction to an unwanted guest who refuses to leave?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Do I need to serve an eviction to an unwanted guest who refuses to leave?

I have been dating a woman for 13 years; we were engaged until a few days ago, I’m done with her lies. I told her to pack and go, she did. I foolishly let her come for Halloween with our daughter and now she refuses to leave the home. She is not on the mortgage, only I am. She does not work, has paid zero dollars towards the home since I bought it. She does get mail here. I have my electric bill in her name to help her build credit. I’m trying to be as amicable as possible, she has an admitted alcohol issue she cannot control and now refuses to go get help for that. Our 3 year old is her sticking point, even trying to kick me out of my own home. How do I get this unwanted burden out of my home for good? Can the police have her removed? I feel like a moron calling the police for something like this if they can’t even help.

Asked on November 1, 2018 under Real Estate Law, Massachusetts


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

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

After having living in the home for such a long time, up until she moved out this woman would have been considered either a tenant or licensee. As such, you would have had to file an eviction to have her removed. However, once she left, then her tenancy or licensee status ended. Now that she is back, since it has been for such a short amount of time, she will likely be considered to be a trespasser. As such, the police may or may not help you. The fact is that they may look at this as strictly a civil matter and decline to get involved, especially since a child is involved. In that case, you will need to file a legal action known as an "ejectment". This is a cheaper and faster process than filing for a formal eviction. In the meantime, put the electric bill back into your name and be sure to take no self-help measures such as changing the locks or removing her belongings, as you could find yourself facing legal action. At this point, you should consult directly with a local attorney who handles landlord/tenant matters as they can best advise you further.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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