If I rent a house in my name only but I let someone move in and now want them to leave, what are my rights?

Get Legal Help Today

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

If I rent a house in my name only but I let someone move in and now want them to leave, what are my rights?

Nothing was signed between us.

Asked on June 18, 2015 under Real Estate Law, New Jersey

Answers:

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

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

Since you are the only one on the lease this person may be considered to be your "subtenant" if they paid you rent; if they didn't pay but lived on the premises with your permission, they will be considered to be a "licensee".  Either way, you must give them a 30-day notice to vacate the premises.  If they don't leave by the specified date then you will need to file a "unlawful detainer action" (i.e. an eviction). 

However, it must be noted that this person could be considered to be a tenant in their own right if they paid rent directly to your landlord or if your landlord put (or allowed them to put) their name on the mailbox/doorbell. In that case, your landlord would need to file because only landlords can evict tenants. 

As you seem to be aware, you have rights in this situation but only so long as you comply with all legal requirements for removing them from the premises. Otherwise this person could be entitled to recover damages. Accordingly, any self-help measures such as removing their belongings or changing the locks, cannot be used. 

At this point, you should consult with a landlord-tenant attorney or tenant's rights organization to find out  the specifics for the proces a legal eviction in your state.


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.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption