How do I ask a family member to vacate a property?

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How do I ask a family member to vacate a property?

My husband is deceased for 1 year now and we have a property that housed his aunt and a 20-something cousin who took care of the aunt. The 20-something has a young daughter. There is no lease agreement signed and the aunt suffered a stroke and no longer lives in the property because she is in a 24 hour care and rehab center (for 3 months now with no improvement). My husband had made a promise to his mother on her death bed to care for his aunt and so he managed, paid, and took care of all debts related to the property – everyone living for free with my husband paying it all. Now that he is gone I would like the cousin to move out in order to rent the property and help provide for our family. As the aunt will not be returning, I feel that I have no obligation to take care of the 20-something cousin. What type of letter, suggestion, or procedure should I do to ask her to vacate without being heartless.

Asked on August 15, 2011 Louisiana

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your loss and for your situation.  I do not think that there is any way that you can do this without in some way seeming heartless to someone.  But you have every right to provide for your family first.  You can start with approaching her - I would do it in person - and let her know what your intentions are and explain that you can not continue to pay for everything now that your husband is deceased.  You need to decide how you think this is best done.  Maybe offer to help pay for moving expenses?  Give her a firm date on which the property must be vacant.  If she does not leave then seek legal help as you will need to formally evict her.  Yes, I know, but that is what I meant by seeming heartless.  Good luck.


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