If I have a live-in boyfriend and we are breaking up but he won’t leave, how do I get him to go?

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If I have a live-in boyfriend and we are breaking up but he won’t leave, how do I get him to go?

I have a mortgage in my name only and purchased the property 1 year prior to my boyfriend moving in. He contributed small amounts of money towards the utilities, but never towards the mortgage because his name wasn’t on it. He went out-of-state for a 2 week visit, that turned into him several months. After the first month, I told him I didn’t want him back and he said he wanted to work things out. I just wanted him to get his belongings, so he came back 2 months ago and now won’t go. What can I do?

Asked on July 18, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Pennsylvania

Answers:

L.P., Member, Pennsylvania and New Jersey Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

The answer to this question really hinges on whether or not your boyfriend contributed to costs of residing at the property whether it be mortgage payments or payments towards utilities.  If your boyfriend had not contributed at all, then he would be considered a "guest" and you could tell him to leave at any time and could change the locks so that he could not gain access back to the property. 

However, since you stated that he had contributed to utilites, he is considered in the eyes of the law a "licensee."  As the property owner you can revoke his license by filing a notice to quit.  This usually has a 30-day period attached.  If at the end of the 30 days he still refuses to leave the property, then you will need to start eviction proceedings.  The court will enter an order requiring him to vacate the property, and the sheriff will enforce this order if necessary. 

You should speak with an attorney in your area to assist with the steps you should take, because if you utilize self-help (i.e., changing the locks, etc.) you could be sued for unlawful eviction.


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