Can an occupant of a rental stay after the tenant moves?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Can an occupant of a rental stay after the tenant moves?

My tenant listed his girlfriend as an occupant in a rental I own. They are splitting up and he is moving out. She has no intention of moving though, and she does not have the means to pay the rent. Can she legally stay? Do I evict her? She has been very hostile and I have no desire to continue business with her.

Asked on December 28, 2017 under Real Estate Law, Missouri


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

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Since she is listed as an "occupant" and not the "tenant", you have no legal responsility to allow her to remain on the premises. Accordingly, in most states you can file for an "ejectment"; this is like an expedited eviction of a non-tenant. At this point, you really should consult with an attorney who specializes in landlord-tenant matters. And at no point should you attempt any type of "self-help" measures such as changing the lock or removing her belongings. 

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 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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