Can I throw my 18 year-old out of my home?

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Can I throw my 18 year-old out of my home?

My 18 year-old dropped out of school, refuses to get a job, or obey any of the rules of the household (which are not out of the ordinary). I regularly catch them using drugs. I’m fed up and want them out.

Asked on September 27, 2010 under Real Estate Law, North Carolina

Answers:

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

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

Legally, since your child is no longer a minor, you are no longer legally obliged to provide them a home.  In some states, you can just throw them out.  However, in other states, things are a bit different. In these latter states, she will legally be recognized as a "licensee".  This is what a person who enters a property with permission is called.  However, once that permission in taken back the licensee must remove themselves from the premises. If they fail to leave, the legal way to remove them from the premises is to serve them with a notice to quit (under these circumstances in some states this notice can be for a little as 3 days, in other as much as 30 days).  If a licensee fails to leave at the end of that time, the property owner will have to go bring an eviction action. 

At this stage the police will be most probably refuse to get involved.  Once the court enters an order for them to vacate the property it will be enforced by the sheriff. At this point you need to speak with an attorney as to your rights under specific state law.  Until you do do nut use self-help and just lock your child out.  Ironically, they could end up suing your for unlawful eviction. 

Note:  If their verbal and mental abuse is putting you in fear for your safety, you can report this to the police and they will have them removed immediately or as per an order of the court.


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