What steps doI need to kick a family member out of my house who refuses to get their own place?

UPDATED: Feb 13, 2012

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What steps doI need to kick a family member out of my house who refuses to get their own place?

My mother is living with me at the moment and 5 months ago. I told her that I wanted to move out and get her own place by next month. She is acting like she’s not going to move out. If she doesn’t, what steps do I need to take next to make this happen?

Asked on February 13, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Indiana


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

If your mother is not paying rent (including paying "rent" by regularly contributing to taxes, mortgage, utilities, etc.), is not on a lease, and does not have any ownership interest in the premises (e.g. is not on title), she is technically a guest. As a guest, she may remain there only so long as you let her, and you may withdraw permission at any time. Therefore, if this is the case, you should be able to simply tell her to leave and, if she does not, the police in theory should then remove her as a trespasser.

The reason I say "in theory" is that the police often refuse to do this when it's family and/or someone who claims they are a "tenant" (e.g. claims to have a lease, even if an oral one, or to pay rent). In those cases, the police usually prefer if the landlord-tenant court sorts matters out. Therefore, if the police will not intervene, or if she does have a lease or is paying rent, you will need to evict her through landlord-tenant court.

If she has a written lease, you could only evict her at the end of the lease (by not renewing it) or if she breaches the lease (such as by non-payment of rent). If not--if it is, or could be treated as, an oral lease)--provide her thirty days notice that you are terminating her tenancy (do it some way you can prove delivery; e.g. both tell her this and hand her a written notice in front of witnesses; also mail and cert. mail with return receipt, to really over your bases). If she does not leave at the end of those 30 days, file an evition action; if you contact the court, they will direct you to sample forms and instructions.

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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