How do I begin the process of evicting my 20-year-old son from my home?

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How do I begin the process of evicting my 20-year-old son from my home?

My son is 20 years old, will not seek a job, is using drugs, steals and pawns expensive items, and will not leave when asked. I have heard that the process varies in different states. Where do I go to begin the process of legally evicting him?

Asked on November 19, 2011 under Real Estate Law, California

Answers:

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

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Assuming that he pays no rent (or form of rent such as utilities), he will be considered to be a long-term guest or "licensee" (i.e. someone invited to stay on the property). Now that this invitation had been revoked, you will need to give him notice to vacate. If he fails to leave by the date specified in the notice, then you will need to file an "unlawful detainer" (i.e. eviction lawsuit) in court. If successful the judge will you a "writ of possession". Your son will then either have to remove himself from your house or you can have the sheriff remove him. 

In the meantime do not undertake any "self-help" remedies such as changing the locks, removing his belongings, etc. If you do you could be sued for unlawful eviction. At this point you should consult with an attorney who specializes in landlord-tenant cases; they can best advise you on the correct way in which to go about this.

In the meantime, here is a site that you will find to be of help: http://www.dca.ca.gov/publications/landlordbook/


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