What to do if my niece and her boyfriend are refusing to vacate my home?

UPDATED: Oct 15, 2010

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What to do if my niece and her boyfriend are refusing to vacate my home?

My niece and her boyfriend have been asked to vacate my home due to their misuse and abuse of my kindness. I allowed them to move in on a temporary basis to get give them a chance to get on their feet. They’ve done nothing to prepare to get a place of their own and they have completely taken over my home after repeated requests not to do so. They are refusing to leave my home, in which I also reside, saying that I have to give them a written 30-day eviction notice. There is no written agreement and they pay no rent.

Asked on October 15, 2010 under Real Estate Law, Missouri


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

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

They will be considered tenants (whether or not a lease was signed or whether or not rent was paid) if they paid for any utilities, food, or the like (this can be considered “rent”). Consequently, they will be treated as “tenants” in the eyes of the law. To remove them from the premises you will have to file a formal eviction proceeding (“unlawful detainer action”) as in any other landlord-tenant relationship. If no rent has been paid, in some states you can simply ask the person that you want out to leave without going to court. However, in other states, someone who enters your home and stays with your permission will be considered to be what is known as a “licensee”. The result of this is that once permission for them to stay has been revoked you will need to go through the legal steps of a formal eviction to have them removed from your property.

What you need to do now is to speak with directly with an attorney in your area. While having an attorney represent you is not mandatory in such a case, you will be better off by having one. Failure to comply with all procedures will delay their removal.

Note: Follow the law and don’t be tempted to use “self-help” measures such as changing the locks or physically removing the person yourself. You could find yourself being sued for unlawful eviction if you do.

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 AttorneyPages.com 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.

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