Can I evict my adult daughter from my apartment if she is not on the lease?

UPDATED: Sep 21, 2011

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Can I evict my adult daughter from my apartment if she is not on the lease?

I am the only one on the lease and want to move in a few months but my grown daughter does not. I want to make sure she does not end up being a squatter when I move. What steps should I take to make sure she doesn’t end up staying and causing me legal problems with the landlord? Even though I am not the landlord can I file an eviction notice to have her evicted?

Asked on September 21, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Illinois


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

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Since your daughter is not on the lease and, I will assume, did not pay any rent she will be considered to be a "licensee" (i.e. someone invited onto the property and allowed to stay; a long term guest).  Now that permission to stay has been revoked, you (the legal occupant) must give a 30 day notice for her to vacate the premises - whether or not she is on the lease.  If she doesn't leave by the date specified then you will need to file a "unlawful detainer action" (i.e. eviction). If she has contributed rent or a form of rent (e.g. utilities) she is a "sub-tenant" and you are her landlord. As such in order to her get her to vacate the premises, you must still file for an eviction.

Note:  If she was a "tenant", then your landlord would need to file because only landlords can evict tenants.  In addition to being on the lease and/or paying rent directly to the landlord, she may have achieved the status of a tenant if your landlord put (or allowed her to put) her name on the mailbox/doorbell, or if you and she rented the place together and it was clear that both of you were on equal footing, etc. 

It is essential to comply with all legal requirements when filing for an unlawful detainer; this includes proper notice to vacate the premises.  Someone who is put out of their home in an unlawful manner is entitled to recover damages, not to mention that using illegal methods to force someone to move out is a criminal violation.  Therefore self-help measures such as removing personal belongings or changing locks, cannot be used. 

At this time, you should consult with a landlord-tenant attorney or tenant's rights organization to find out just what the process is for a legal eviction in your state.

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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