If a tenant refuses to sign a lease can I evict them?

UPDATED: Oct 11, 2011

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If a tenant refuses to sign a lease can I evict them?

I have a tenant that has lived in my mobile home for 10 months we had a verbal agreement that she was only staying for 7 months. Since she has been over the 7 months I asked her to sign a lease and she refuses. What can I do about getting her out? She hasn’t lived up to doing work. She refuses to let me into go in the house so I can inspect it (she has 2 cats and I was told by her that there are fleas in there now).

Asked on October 11, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Florida


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

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Since there is no formal written lease, she has an oral lease and is therefore considered to be a month-to-month tenant. Accordingly, in most jurisdictions, a 30 day notice needs to be given (you don't even need a reason for wanting her out). If your tenant fails to leave by the date specified in the notice, you will need to file an eviction lawsuit; it's called an "unlawful detainer". Once the court issues a vacate order, if she is still on the premises you can get a sheriff to come and remove her, forcibly if necessary.

Just be aware that changing the locks or trying to move out her belongings before having the court vacate order can result in legal liability for you; she would have a claim for unlawful eviction.

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