CanI throw someone out of my house?

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CanI throw someone out of my house?

I need to know what I can do if my son and his girlfriend have been told to leave by the end of the year. They are both very disrespectful and fight constantly. They have done damage to my home and have threatened to kill us. She thinks we have to take them to court because she has lived here for over 6 months, which she hasn’t. She receives no mail here and her son attends school in another district. We have been told we should just change the locks. We went to the sherriff’s office and had them served with 5 day eviction papers, which only made them laugh. They pay no rent here.

Asked on January 4, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Illinois

Answers:

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

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

The fact is that whether or not they pay rent, they appear to be more than merely guests at this point (I'm assuming that they have lived with you for more than 30 or so days). In such an event, in most states, they will have attained the status of "licensee". Accordingly, you will have to treat them as tenants. This means that official notice to quit the premises must be served (you have done this). Since your son and his girlfriend still refuse to vacate, then at this point you will need to file an "unlawful detainer" (i.e. eviction lawsuit). Once a judge issues a writ of possession, then the sheriff can remove them, physically if necessary (I doubt they'll be laughing then).

In the meantime, do not undertake any self-help measures such as changing the locks. You could be sued for illegal eviction if you do. To make sure that all state laws are complied with you really should consider having an attorney who specializes in these type cases help you.

And by all means, if their abusive behavior escalates to the point that you are put in immediate fear for your personal safey, do not hesitate to call the police.


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 AttorneyPages.com 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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