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

UPDATED: May 30, 2012

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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


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

Answered 10 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.

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 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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