If my friend lies with us but has never been obligated to pay rent, now that we have decided it is time for him to leave, do I have to legally have to evict him?

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If my friend lies with us but has never been obligated to pay rent, now that we have decided it is time for him to leave, do I have to legally have to evict him?

Asked on December 14, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Michigan

Answers:

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

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

If this friend has never paid rent (or a form of rent such as utilities, etc), then they are not a tenant under the law. In most states they will be considered to be "licensee"; that is someone who was invited by the lawful occupant to come and stay at the property. Accordingly, you will have to give a 30-day written notice to vacate (possibly more depending on your state's law). If they fail to leave by the date specified in the notice, you wll need to file for an "ejectment" (the equivalent of an eviction lawsuit but for a licensee). Once the court issues an order for your exclusive possession of the premises, your tenant must leave or you can then have a sheriff physically remove them.

In the meantime, do not change the locks, remove this friend's belongings or try any other self-help measure. Follow the legal procedures outlined above. You don't want to find yourself getting sued. To be certain of your rights/reponsibilites, consult directly with an attorney in your area.


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