Does someone have to be given 30 days notice to move out if they are not on lease and do not pay rent?

UPDATED: May 23, 2012

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Does someone have to be given 30 days notice to move out if they are not on lease and do not pay rent?

My boyfriend lives with me and when I asked him to leave he said he has 30 days. He does not pay rent. His name is not on my deed. He pays electric and water which are in my name. What do I have to do?

Asked on May 23, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Ohio


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

If he is not on a lease and is not paying rent, he is a guest, not a tenant. A guest may remain only so long as the homeowner allows him to say, and that permission may be revoked at any time. Once it is revoked, he will have to leave, and would become a trespasser if he does not. In theory, you should then be able to call the police to remove him.

However, that's in theory; in this case, the police probably will not help you, since as you write, he pays electric and water; those payments may make him a tenant, since they could be considered "rent." (Rent does not have to be called rent; any payment made regularly in exchange for living someplace could constitute rent). If he asserts that he is paying rent in some form or another or otherwise has a right to remain there, then given the fact that he has in fact been living there previously, the police will probably want a court determination of his residency rights and whether and when he would have to leave.

Therefore, while you should tell him to leave, and if he won't leave, contact the police and see if they will help you, you need to be prepared for the fact that probably will not help; you will most likely have to bring an eviction action to get him out.

If you have to evict, you should first give him 30 days notice, terminating his tenancy; even if he is paying something which could be considered rent, in the absence of a written lease, he is a month to month tenant, and either the landlord or tenant may terminate a month to month tenancy on 30 days notice. You probably would also want to retain a landlord-tenant attorney to bring this action on your behalf, to make it less "personal" than if you are suing him for eviction directly.

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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