How can I evict a person who lives in my home and does pay utility bills, if we have no written agreement?

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How can I evict a person who lives in my home and does pay utility bills, if we have no written agreement?

Asked on October 15, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Florida

Answers:

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

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

If this person has been living in your home for longer than about 30 days, even if they do not pay rent, etc. and there is no lease, they still have rights. In most states, they will be considerd to be a "licensee" (i.e. long term guest). Accordingly, you will have to give them a formal notice to vacate the premises, just as you would with a tenant. If they fail to remove themselves by the date specified in the notice, you will have to go to court and file an "unlawful detainer" (i.e. eviction lawsuit). At such time as you receive a "writ of possession" (or equivalent), they must remove themselves from the premises. If they do not, you can have a sheriff remove them. In the meantime take no self-help measures (i.e. changing the locks, removing their belongings, etc). You could find yourself in legal trouble yourself if you do.


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