How to evict a tenant if my mom left me her home and I just submitted her Will?

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How to evict a tenant if my mom left me her home and I just submitted her Will?

I had been living with my mom for 20 years but then she passed away. Her Will said that I am the beneficiary and legal representive. Anyway, I had a friend move in. She has a room and her daughter has a room, however we are not getting along. She agreed verbally when she moved in that she would pay utilities but now she says that she will not pay anything. She even went and bought an A/C wall unit and put it in her room. I’m left with paying the bills. What can I do since she also is on probation for battery through the state.

Asked on April 10, 2019 under Real Estate Law, Florida

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

As legal respresentative, you have power over the estate, which includes the house, prior to it being distributed to the heirs (which would be you, anyway). You have to get the order from the court confirming that you are the legal representative (if you don't have this yet, contact the probate court to inquire how to appply for it), but once you have that, you have the same power over the house as if you were already the owner.
The situation you describe straddles the line between your friend being a tenant (someone paying for occupancy) and a guest (someone whom you allow to stay there, but is not paying for occupancy): she is not paying rent per se, but is supposed to help with some bills. I could see different judges considering her a tenant or considering her a guest. That is important because while you can remove her in either event--
1) A tenant who does not pay what is supposed to pay can be removed for nonpayment; also a tenant with an unwritten or oral ("oral," not "verbal," is the correct term) agreement may have that agreement or lease terminated on a month's notice in any event, since without a written lease for a set period of time (e.g. a one-year lease) they are a month-to-month tenant;
2) A guest may be asked to leave at any time, for any reason, on reasonable notice (generally 2 - 4 weeks) to leave
--the legal proceedings to remove tenants and guests are different. Hire a landlord-tenent attorney to help you: the lawyer can examine the facts in detail and determine the right way to remove this person.


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