What is the process of getting a guest to move out of your home?

UPDATED: Aug 13, 2011

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What is the process of getting a guest to move out of your home?

My friend has been living with his friends who own their home outright. They said he could stay with them indefinitely and he buys groceries and helps with various chores and repairs. There was never a rental agreement and now they want him to move out. Do they need to file an eviction and how long of a notice is he given – 30 day eviction notice (?) They allowed him to live with them because he has nowhere to go and they know he will be homeless once they throw him out.

Asked on August 13, 2011 South Carolina


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

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

At this point since he helped with groceries and made repairs, etc., your friend may well have achieved the legal status of tenant (there need not be a formal lease). Even if he didn't a long term guest can also be considered to be a "licensee". In either event (tenant or licensee) the lawful way to get himto leave is to deliver to him a 30 day notice. If he fails to vacate by the date specified, then the "landlord" will need to go to court and file an "unlawful detainer" action (i.e. eviction lawsuit). At that point, if he still fails to remove himself from the premises, the landlord can have the sheriff do it (by physical force if necessary).

Note: If the landlord attempts any self-help measures such as changing the locks or removing your friends personal belongings, he could sue for wrongful eviction.

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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