How do I get an ex-girlfriend to leave my apartment?

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How do I get an ex-girlfriend to leave my apartment?

I willfully let this person live with me for a year, kicked her out for 3 months and then tried to make it work one more time and let her back. It’s now been 4 months again and we decided to end it 2 months ago. She is not on the lease. She has never paid me a dime for rent or utilities ever. I asked her to leave 5 weeks ago and actually gave her a deadline hoping she would follow it. It’s been 10 days since the deadline and she has not even made an effort to look for a new place. I even offered to pay her first months rent if she moved. What do I do? I want her out so bad.

Asked on February 14, 2011 under Real Estate Law, New York

Answers:

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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Since your ex-girlfriend has not paid you rent (food, utilities, etc), then she is not a tenant, she will a "licensee".  This is someone who was invited to stay on the premises with your (the legal occupant's) permission.  Now that you have revoked your permission, she is subject to removal in the same way on which a tenant would be; that is by eviction.  You now need to deliver to your ex a written notice (for a licensee 10 days is typically sufficient).  If she does not leave by the specified date, you can then file an "unlawful detainer action" (i.e. eviction action) .  If the court rules in your favor, she will then be ordered by the court to vacate the premises.  If she doesn't then the sheriff will remove her, forcibly if necessary.

In the meantime do not undertake any "self-help" measures such as changing the locks, etc. If you do you could find yourself on the wrong side of a lawsuit.  Right now you should contact a tenant's right organization or real estate attorney. They can best advise you of the correct procedure to go about all of this. You can also contact the local court to see if they have a pamphlet/website that gives this information.


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