Even if I’m not paying rent at a residence but I’ve lived here for almost a year now, do I have the right to get a notice to to be evicted ?

UPDATED: Apr 6, 2011

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Even if I’m not paying rent at a residence but I’ve lived here for almost a year now, do I have the right to get a notice to to be evicted ?

I have been living with a friend and he just recently signed his house over to his mom. Now she is trying to kick me out with no notice because I’m not paying rent howeverI receive mail here. Shouldn’t I at least get a 30 day notice or something? She’s telling me that I’m considered a guest and I will be arrested for trespassing if I’m not out immediately.

Asked on April 6, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Washington


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

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Yes, you most probably have a right to receive notice.  If someone is invited onto a property to live, they become what is known as a "licensee".  If their invitation to stay on the premises is later revoked, the lawful way to remove the licensee is to serve them with a notice to quit (typically 30 days).  If they still don't leave, then the property owner must file an unlawful detainer action (i.e. eviction) in court.  This can take 2 - 4 weeks.  After that, if the licensee has not vacated by that time, the sheriff will remove them in about a week or so (and by physical force if necessary).  If the owner attempts some form of "self-help" such as changing the locks or removing the licensee's belongings, they can be subject to a suit for unlawful eviction.

The above holds true for the majority of states.  To find out the exact law in your jurisdiction, consult with an attorney that specializes in landlord-tenant law or contact a tenant's rights organization.

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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