How do you get a family member out of your home

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How do you get a family member out of your home

I let my son move into my home in Maine when I moved out of state. I still retain full ownership and pay all bills and expenses at the home and receive no rent from him. I am in the process of selling the home but he is refusing to move out or allow anyone access to the property. How do I get him out?

Asked on December 1, 2016 under Real Estate Law, Maine

Answers:

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

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

If an adult then child is not paying rent, they are considered to be a guest and not a tenant. Under the law, a guest may only remainon the premises afor as long as the property owner allows. Additionally, such permission may be withdrawn for any reason at any time. If it is withdrawn and the guest doesn'tt leave, they then become a trespasser in the eyes of the law. Accordingly the police should help remove them; there is no need for an eviction action.   However, the police sometimes refuse get involved in these situations if someone has been living on a property for a period of time or claims some right to live there. In such cases, it is felt the courts should determine whether they need to leave. If that event, in order to remove a child a parent would need to bring an action for "ejectment", which is an eviction for non-tenants. 
That all having been said, if the child is supposed to pay rent or any form of rent (i.e. utilities, groceries or otherhousehold bills), then even if these amounts have not been paid, they may still be considered to be a tenant. In other words, even if not honored, the obligation to pay creates a legal tenancy. In such a case, the child would need to be evicted on the grounds of non-payment of rent. Alternatively, if they are a tenant without a written lease, then they are a month-to-month tenant, so a parent could give a 30 days notice to terminating their child's tenancy (and then evict them if they do not leave).


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