Am I required to follow eviction proceedings if I want to get my 18 year old stepson out?

UPDATED: Oct 25, 2011

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Am I required to follow eviction proceedings if I want to get my 18 year old stepson out?

There is no rental agreement. We disagree on living arrangements. He is unemployed. I want him to move out. He refuses. Does he have a legal right to stay in the house? I pay for his car insurance, health insurance, telephone, etc. There is no agreement for him to contribute financially. He performs no chores to contribute to the household. Am I required to follow an eviction process. He has violent tendencies and attempts to physically intimidate his mother.

Asked on October 25, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Pennsylvania


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

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Since he is 18 an considered to be an adult in the eyes of the law, you can evict him. Also, if no rent or form of rent was paid, he is not a teant but rather a "licensee"; that is someone who was invited to come onto the premises and stay. Now that such permission has been revoked, in order to remove him from the premises you must give legal notice to quit (typically 30 or so days; it varies from state-to-state). If he fails to leave by the date specified in the notice, you will then have to file an "unlawful detainer" (i.e. eviction lawsuit). Once a judge issues an order to vacate, you can have him removed from your home (and by the sheriff if necessary).

In the meantime time do not change the locks or remove his belongings. You can be sued for unlawful eviction if you do. Self-help remedies have no place in a legal eviction.

Since this can all get a bit technical, you should consult directly with an attorney in your are who specialized in landlord-tenant cases.

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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