If I let some people come stay with me on a temporary basis and now they will not leave, what do I do?

UPDATED: Oct 13, 2011

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If I let some people come stay with me on a temporary basis and now they will not leave, what do I do?

I was trying to helps some people out and they needed a place to stay. I let them come stay at my home and they have never left. I have tried serving them eviction notices and now want to serve them a 24 hour notice. If they are not gone after the 24 hours can I lock them out of my house? There is no rental agreement.

Asked on October 13, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Oregon


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

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

If they paid rent they are tenants; if they did not they are "licensees" (i.e. long term guests if they have lived on the premises for 30 days or longer). Typically in such a situation you need to serve these occupants with a 30 day notice. If they fail to leave by the date specified in the notice, then you will have to file for an eviction lawsuit in court (called an "unlawful detainer"). At such point that a judge issues an order for them to vacate the premises they must go. If not, you can have a sheriff forcibly remove them if necessary.

Whatever you do, do not attempt any self-help remedies. This means do not remove their belongings, or change the locks, or shut-off the utilities, etc. If you do, they could sue you for unlawful eviction.

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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