I have been paying rent on a home owned by my mom for the last 16 months. There is no rental agreement between us. Now she wants to evict me and has threaten to bring the marshalls if I don’t remove myself and belongings in 1.5 months. Can she do this?

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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UPDATED: Jul 16, 2021

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When you don’t have a written lease and have been paying rent monthly, most states will declare that you have a month-to-month rental agreement. A landlord can terminate a month-to-month rental on 20-30 days notice. However, each state has different laws regarding what type of notice is necessary: usually it has to be written notice delivered to the tenant. Then the landlord has to wait 30 days until you are illegally holding over before she can start eviction proceedings. The landlord can’t lock the house until a court grants her a writ of restitution and the sheriff evicts you. Even then, she can’t keep your stuff unless you owe her money. If she tries, you get to sue her for conversion/theft.

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