How would I go about evicting someone living with me?

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How would I go about evicting someone living with me?

I bought a house and let my mother and 2 younger brothers move in with me to help her get back on her feet. We had a verbal agreement that we would each pay half the bills. They are all in my name and normally she is home to get all the mail and takes care of the bills. Well I’ve started getting phone calls because 3 of the bills are now in total $3000 behind. I just want her out. What options do I have?

Asked on April 2, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Pennsylvania

Answers:

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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

If she paid rent (or utilities, food, etc) as at some point, then she will be considered to be a "tenant" (whether or not there was a written lease).  If she never actually paid any rent (or the like) she will be considered to be a "licensee" ( that is someone who was allowed to live in the premises with permission).  In either event, you will have to file an unlawful detainer action (i.e. eviction) to legally remove her from your home.

At this point you need to give her a written notice to vacate (typically 30 days).  If she does not leave by the date specified, you can then file the unlawful detainer action in court.  She will then be ordered by the judge to vacate the premises.  If she doesn't, then the sheriff will remove her.  In the meantime do not undertake any "self-help" measures such as changing the locks or removing his personal belongings. If you do you could find yourself on the wrong side of a lawsuit.  Contact a real estate attorney that specializes in landlord/tenant matters; they can best advise as to the correct procedures for all of this.  You can also contact the local court to see if they have a pamphlet/website that gives relevant information.


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