How do I get someone off of my property?

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How do I get someone off of my property?

A guy who I know and I had at one point discussed the possibility of him paying rent to live in my spare room. Instead, he just randomly decided to take up residence in my shed a couple weeks ago. I gave him permission at first because I was incredibly naive and I felt bad for him. However, once it became clear how much risk that could put me in, I told him that he needed to leave. He refused so I called the sheriff’s office and reported him as a trespasser. I don’t remember the exact details of the call,but I believe I did inform them that I had initially given him permission to be there and then revoked it. However, when the deputies arrived he came out and told them a bunch of lies about how he was paying me rent even though he never gave me a single penny and that we had an agreement where he would do yardwork and stuff in exchange for living there. The fact is that we had made an agreement about yardwork, but it was just to pay him in cash, which I did, but he said that he had been living with me off-and-on for months which is not true. How do I force this guy to leave in a way that he can’t get out of by lying some more?

Asked on November 2, 2019 under Real Estate Law, Florida

Answers:

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

Answered 1 year ago | Contributor

Since you initially allowed this person to stay on the premises, they are a "licensee". Accordingly, even if they never paid you rent or any form of rent (i.e. worked in exchange for a place to stay, etc.), because they have been there for several weeks, they likely now have certain legal rights, depending on specific state law. Accordingly, while not a tenant, you will still need to go to court in order to legally remove them. The process you must file for is an "ejectment" (which is the equivalent to an eviction for a tenant). At this point, you should consult directly with a lcoal attorney who handles evictions and related matters, as they can best advise you further as to all of this. In the meantime, take no self-help measures such as removing this person's belongings, locking them out of the shed or shutting off any utilities that they might have acces to. If you do, you could find yourself being sued.

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

Answered 1 year ago | Contributor

Since you initially allowed this person to stay on the premises, they are a "licensee". Accordingly, even if they never paid you rent or any form of rent (i.e. worked in exchange for a place to stay, etc.), because they have been there for several weeks, they likely now have certain legal rights, depending on specific state law. Accordingly, while not a tenant, you will still need to go to court in order to legally remove them. The process you must file for is an "ejectment" (which is the equivalent to an eviction for a tenant). At this point, you should consult directly with a lcoal attorney who handles evictions and related matters, as they can best advise you further as to all of this. In the meantime, take no self-help measures such as removing this person's belongings, locking them out of the shed or shutting off any utilities that they might have acces to. If you do, you could find yourself being sued.


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