What legal consequences could I face for evicting a guest in my house?

UPDATED: Oct 16, 2011

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What legal consequences could I face for evicting a guest in my house?

My boyfriend and I are on the lease to a 1 bedroom apartment; his cousin came down to stay with us. She lives in the livingroomand pays partial rent. I wrote her a nice letter after her complaints of not having her own room and asked her to find her own place either within 16 days or she could pay next month’s rent and move at the end of the month. We offered to help her and were nice. However, she resorted to stealing his car keys and refusing to give them back for over 24 hours. I would now like to move her stuff all into the living room and evict her but want to make sure that I can.

Asked on October 16, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Florida


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

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Since she also pays rent, she is a tenant or sub-tenant. Accordingly, you will have to go through a formal eviction to remove her. First, you will have to five her a 30 day notice to leave. If she remains, then you will have to file an "unlawful detainer" (i.e. eviction law suit) in court. Once the judge issues an order to vacate, she will either have to move out immediately or you can have a sheriff come and physically remove her if necessary.

In the meantime do not move her belongings, change the locks, etc. If you attempt any of these self-help measures, you can be in legal troubleyourself; she could sue for unlawful eviction. You should probably get some legal help with this.

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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