If I have a current girlfriend living with me but she pays no rent and refusing to leave, how can I proceed to remove her?

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If I have a current girlfriend living with me but she pays no rent and refusing to leave, how can I proceed to remove her?

I have a girlfriend in my home who is unemployed and provides no rent of any type, not even contribution to normal household expenses such as groceries, TV, phone, internet, heat, electric, etc. I’ve owned the home for 18 years and she moved in 4 years ago. The relationship has soured and she is from a town 6 hours away. She has no assets or income and has become volatile, unpredictable and a real hassle. I want to end the relationship with her but the girl has nowhere to go except either to the street or get her back to her hometown, however she has refused to leave. I have mentioned many times to her that she has to leave but she screams that she is not leaving and won’t leave. What are my options here to get her out legally, smoothly and without incident? Do I need a court order, police intervention, or both?

Asked on May 6, 2017 under Real Estate Law, Pennsylvania

Answers:

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

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Even though your girlfriend does not pay rent or any form of rent (i.e. groceries, utilities, etc.), after so long a time she is no longer considered to be a mere "guest". She is either a "licensee" (i.e. who is someone who was invited onto the property and allowed to stay), or she may have actually attained the status of "tenant" at this point (since she presumably receives mail at your home and uses the house address on certain legal documents). In either event, you will now need to go through a formal eviction process to remove her. This starts by giving her a 30 day written notice to vacate. If she fails to do so by the date specified, then you will need to go to court and file for an "unlawful detainer" (i.e. eviction). You may be able to do this yourself; go online and see if your state provides forms for this. If not, then you can consult directly with an attorney who handles landlord/tenant cases. In the meantime, take no "self-help" measures such as changing the locks or removing her personal belongings. If you do, then you could find yourself on the wrong side of a lawsuit.


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