If my mother is 85 with dementia, what steps do I take to evict a sibling from her home who stopped paying his rent?

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If my mother is 85 with dementia, what steps do I take to evict a sibling from her home who stopped paying his rent?

Mom used to collect rent from my brother. He and his wife have lived with her for 12 years. Barely consistent with their rent and now that she has had 2 minor strokes, the dementia does not allow her to manage her finances. My older sister and I do. I have durable POA. The home is in need of repairs and cleaning. My brother does nothing and has stopped paying her anything. I told him he needs to start paying again and he believes he can continue without doing so. His wife works and he does too.How do I legally begin eviction?

Asked on July 23, 2018 under Real Estate Law, Georgia

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

If he was paying rent, he was a rent-paying tenant (as well as being a family member). Any tenant, family or not, can be evicted for failing to pay rent. A nonpayment eviction action can be brought by the property owner OR by someone with power of attorney from her--that is, you can bring an eviction against him on her behalf. You would bring the action for all the unpaid rent to date--that is, all the rent he should have paid, but did not.
Landlord-tenant law is "technical" in the sense that a minor procedural or paperwork error forces you to start over--a lawyer is very helpful. Also, having a lawyer will provide a "buffer" between you and your brother. And finally, since ordinarily, a POA does not let you represent another person in court unless you are also an actual attorney or lawyer, under court rules, you would almost certainly need to hire  a lawyer because while you have authority from your mother (the POA), you are not her, and a non-lawyer cannot represent another person in court. For all these reasons, rather than trying to handle this matter yourself, you should retain a landlord-tenant attorney to evict your brother for you.


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