How can I get rid of a someone living in my house that has never paid rent?

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How can I get rid of a someone living in my house that has never paid rent?

I have a friend that has been living with me for a few months. I have asked him to leave and he refuses to. What can I do to get him to move out?

Asked on November 24, 2011 under Real Estate Law, California

Answers:

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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Since this person pays no rent he will be considered to be a long-term guest or "licensee" (i.e. someone invited to stay on the property). Now that the invitation or permission to stay has been revoked, you will need to give him notice to vacate your house. If he fails to leave by the date given in the notice, then you will have to file what is called an "unlawful detainer"; this is basically an eviction lawsuit. If successful, the court will issue you a "writ of possession". Your occupant will then either have to remove himself from your premises or you can have the sheriff remove him. 

In the meantime, don't be tempted to take any "self-help" measures such as changing the locks, removing his belongings, etc. If you do you could be taken to court for unlawful eviction. At this point you should consult with an attorney who specializes in landlord-tenant cases. They can advise best on the correct way in which to do this.

In the meantime, here is a site that you will find to be of help: http://www.dca.ca.gov/publications/landlordbook/


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