My aunt has property and needs help in removing people that have taken over her property, what can she do?

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My aunt has property and needs help in removing people that have taken over her property, what can she do?

A friend of my aunt moved into 1 of her homes – a vacant rental property. He’s been there 2 years, not paying any rent and he refuses to leave the premises. What are her options to get him to leave. Every time she goes to tell him to leave he says to “Go away, this is my property”. She’s highly intimidated by him.

Asked on August 22, 2010 under Real Estate Law, California

Answers:

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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Since you did not indicate I will assume that he does not pay rent (which can also include to mean utilities, food, etc).  In such a case, in most states he will be considered to be something the law calls a "licensee".  That is someone who entered and remained on the premises with permission.  Now that permission has been revoked the lawful way to remove him from the premises is to serve him with a notice to quit/vacate.  If he fails to leave at the end of that time you will have to go through the requisite procedures for eviction.  Once the court enters an order for him to vacate the property, it will be enforced by the sheriff using physical force if necessary.

Note: If rent was in fact paid then he is a tenant.  In that case, clearly legal eviction procedures must be followed.

Here is a link to a site to help get you started:  http://www.courtinfo.ca.gov/selfhelp/other/landten.htm


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