How to evict a family member with no lease?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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How to evict a family member with no lease?

I would like to evict my brother. The problem is that when I try to file the papers it states for a person that has a lease agreement. He has never paid a bill and we never made a agreement. Can I still evict him? He is also out of line and I was wondering could I get a restraining order on a person that lives in my house?

Asked on March 14, 2016 under Real Estate Law, Florida


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

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

Since your brother has not paid any rent or any form of rent (such as the utilities), then he is not legally considered to be a tenant. Therefore, he will be considered to be a "licensee", who is someone who has been invited to stay on the premises by the rightful occupant. He will still need to be served a notice to vacate. Depending on specific state law, a lodger must typically recieve a 30 day notice. If he fails to vacate within the time stated in the notice, you will need to file for an "ejectment" (basically an eviction lawsuit for a guest). In the meantime, you must not take any self-help measures, such as removing your brother's belongings or changing the locks. If you do, you could find yourself in legal trouble of your own. That all having been said, if you have a genuined fear for your safety, you can go to court and get a protective order (e.g. a restraining order) which would allow you to remove him from the premises; the police can enforce it if necessary. At this point, you really should consult directly with a local attorney who can best advise you further.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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