What can I do if I have an individual whom I offered a free place to stay at a rental unit that I own but now they won’t leave?

UPDATED: Sep 29, 2022

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What can I do if I have an individual whom I offered a free place to stay at a rental unit that I own but now they won’t leave?

She was being evicted from her residence. This was done without a lease or any written contract. It was agreed to be for a “short term”.That was 3 months ago and she has informed me that she has no intention of moving out. Furthermore, I offered her a lease at a reduced rate but she declined to take it. I am giving her a written 30 day notice to vacate. At the conclusion of this period, can I remove her and her possessions from the house?

Asked on September 12, 2015 under Real Estate Law, Maryland


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

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

You can have her removed but you will need to take the necessary legal steps to legally do so. If she does not move out by the date specified in the notice to vacate, then you'll need to file an "unlawful detainer" action i.e. eviction lawsuit. If your successful, the judge will issue you what is called a "writ of possession". If she still does not remove herself from the premises, the writ will allow you to have the sheriff remove her if necessary.
At this point, you should consult directly with an attorney who specializes in landlord-tenant cases. They can best advise you as to specific state law for example, making sure that you provide the correct to notice vacate and serve it properly to her. In the meantime, be sure not to undertake any self-help measures, such as changing the locks or removing her things from your home. If you do, you can face legal consequences yourself.
Note If you are in fear for your safety, then you could have her removed via an order of protection.

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 AttorneyPages.com 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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