Family Member Living on Our Property

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Family Member Living on Our Property

My husband bought 25 acres with 2 houses, a shop, a barn, a small outbuilding, and a creek in December 2015. Everything is in his name loan insurance ect however his cousin wanted to partake in it and have the smaller house with 5 acres with some of the creek on it. His cousin helped with a few things to help make the purchase go through as well as fix the house he and his family would stay in. They pay us $400 for their house/outter building every month. There is nothing in writing that supports this nor do we have a contract with them or lease Flashfoward to present time, our well has been having problems and come to find out cannot support both houses. We also found out that we cannot split the property in a single 5 acres piece like we originally thought that they have done nothing to try to make it happen, so they can have the piece they es. We also have been having issues with their dog and our dog as well as their kids come into our house whenever they want even though we have tried talking to them about it. Looking at WA, technically they are month to month tenants since we don’t have anything in agreement to them notarized. We do not have a lease either for them to abide by this happened before I came along. My husband and I are wanting them to leave but don’t know how to handle the situation legally or how to approach them about it.

Asked on July 15, 2018 under Real Estate Law, Washington

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

If they are paying rent but there is no written lease, they are month-to-month tenants on an oral lease. You can give them a month's notice (really, it's a full month plus whatever is left in current month: notice now would be notice ending the tenancy at the end of August) to move out/vacate, then, if they don't bring a legal action to evict them.
Landlord/tenant law can be very "technical" in that a small mistake or error in paperwork or procedure can require you to start over (i.e. result in the case being dismissed "without prejudice"). Retain a landlord-tenant attorney to help you, from sending the first notice through the legal proceeding to arranging the lock-out. This will ensure you get it done and also provide a "buffer" between you and your husband's cousin.


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