Is “evicting” a house guest that has resided with me for 6 months, the same procedure as with a tenant?

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Is “evicting” a house guest that has resided with me for 6 months, the same procedure as with a tenant?

Asked on May 30, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Ohio

Answers:

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

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

By "house guest" I will assume that this person is not paying rent or any form of rent (such as utiltites, etc). The law in most states is that when is comes to an eviction, after 30 days a house guest achieves much the same status as a tenant whether or not they are paying rent; at this point the guest would actually be considered to be a "licensee". As such, they are entited to the same protections as a tenant would be. This means that they typically must be given a 30-day notice to vacate the premises. If they fail to leave by the end of that time, then you would have to file for what is known as an "unlawful detainer" with the court (i.e. basically this is an eviction lawsuit). Once a judge issues you a writ of possession or the like, then this person will loose their "license" to occupy the premises. If they fail to remove themselves from the premises at this time, then you can have a sheriff remove them for you.

Note: In the meantime take no self-help measures such as changing the locks or removing her belongings. She could actually sue you for unlawful eviction if you do.


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