If my brother has dementia and he allowed 2 friends to spend the night but they’re still living there 1.5 years later, do I have legal right to evict since I now have his power of attorney?

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If my brother has dementia and he allowed 2 friends to spend the night but they’re still living there 1.5 years later, do I have legal right to evict since I now have his power of attorney?

They have convinced my brother to go to the bank and withdraw money monthly from his accounts. He is currently receiving an SSI check and other monies. His accounts went from $50,000 to close to nothing during 1.5 years. They pay absolutely no bills, eat his food and have taken over the house. They are flat out stealing. I have since gained power of attorney and have taken control over his finances. I have asked the leeches to move but they won’t. Do I have legal right to evict, since I’m his POA and he is not well?

Asked on June 19, 2015 under Real Estate Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

You have to review the POA to make sure that it gives you authority to initiate lawsuits on his behalf--since an eviction or ejectment proceeding is a lawsuit--but if it does, you should be able to do this. If they pay rent (which does not appear to be the case, from what you write), then they are tenants and may only be evicted for good cause, such as nonpayment, damaging the premises, violating a written lease, etc. If they do not pay rent, they are guests, not tenants; and guests may be asked to leave at any time, for any reason, by the property owner or someone with legal authority to act on his behalf (such as an attorney-in-fact, or person given authority by a POA). If you ask them to leave and they don't, you would file an ejectment proceeding, which is basically eviction for non-tenants. Ejectment is typically a little more complex than evicting tenants, and you are advised to hire an attorney (which you can do if you have financial authority) to help you.


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