How do I evict someone who I was selling my house but quit making payments?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right legal decisions.

We strive to help you make confident insurance and legal decisions. Finding trusted and reliable insurance quotes and legal advice should be easy. This doesn’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own.

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022Fact Checked

Get Legal Help Today

Compare Quotes From Top Companies and Save

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

How do I evict someone who I was selling my house but quit making payments?

I was selling property to a lady with intent to be paid in full within 2 years. Now it’s been 3 1/2 years and she quit making payments but is still living in the house.

Asked on August 22, 2018 under Real Estate Law, Oregon


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Assuming the title is still in your name (not yet transferred to her), then depending on the exact nature of the agreement you had with, you:
Evict her for nonpayment of rent, if this was a rent-to-own situation; in that case, she was a tenant failing to pay and you can evict any tenant who fails to pay rent. A landlord tenant attorney can help you send out any notices required and bring the action. A case like this should be straightforward for a landlord tenant attorney, and you are strongly advised to retain one: I practice landlord-tenant law in a different state (NJ) and I have seen many landlords fail to evict because they make a procedural or technical mistake. Landlord-tenant law can be tricky if you don't know the procedures.
If this was not rent-to-own, but you were letting her live there gratis while she paid for the house (i.e. no part of her payments was rent; it was all for the house), then you have to "eject" her as a guest. Ejectment (that is the traditional name; your state may have a different name for it) is the legal procedure to remove a person who is not a rent-paying tenant but whom you voluntarily allowed to reside in your property. It accomplishes the same thing as evicting a tenant, but the procedure is different. Again, a landlord-tenant attorney can do this with/for you.
BUT if you already transfered title to her, you can't remove her from the home UNLESS you actually gave her a "private mortgage" for the home (basically, you acted as the bank) and that mortgage includes the right to foreclose (and that's what you'd have to do: foreclose) in the event of nonpayment AND was properly filed with the county. Only with a mortgage can you recover property in the event of nonpayment. 
If you transferred title and not structure it so that you gave her a mortgage, all you can do is sue her for the money she owes you--you can't take back the property for nonpayment. If the amount is over $10k, you'd have to sue in regular county court, not in small claims.

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.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption