Man and woman sitting on opposite sides of the wall


Venessa Bornost Nov. 19, 2020

Commonly I get cases in which a homeowner has invited their adult child, relative, friend, girlfriend, or boyfriend to stay at their house. The intention of the homeowner is for a short duration many times until the person can get off their feet. But when the person stays longer than the homeowner anticipated many questions and concerns start to arise.

What should I do…. "my girlfriend, boyfriend, relative, friend, or adult child refuses to leave my house?” “They have not paid rent” “They have not contributed to utilities” “They are taking my house over” “They do not have a job” “They have nowhere to go” “They are having health issues” “How can they stay here it is my house” “How can I get them out of my house”

The homeowner may try calling the police to get assistance in removing the guest from the home only to find that the police cannot remove the guest from the home because the matter is civil and not criminal. The police usually tell the homeowner to file an unlawful detainer action.

The reason for the Unlawful Detainer is the parties do not have an agreement to pay rent. The parties do not have an agreement for how long the stay will be. Because parties share a close relationship, they typically do not have any verbal or written agreement.

Once a homeowner invites a person into their home and that person takes up residency the homeowner cannot remove a person through self-help or with the help of police. A Writ of Possession is the only way to lawfully have the occupant removed from the premises.

An Unlawful Detainer action works like an eviction action in which the process is summary procedure and usually takes 3-4 weeks upon filing to get the Writ of Possession. The Writ of Possession is a court order to remove the occupant from the premises. The local Sheriff’s Office is the only agency authorized to execute the Writ of Possession and have the occupants removed.

It is often difficult for the homeowner to ask the guest to leave because of the parties’ close relationship. This may be a good reason to speak with an attorney before starting the process of an unlawful detainer action.

When you call my office we will discuss the facts of the situation, the relationship of the parties, the length of time the parties have resided together, and the best strategic approach in filing the case and notifying the occupant that the owner wishes for them to vacate the premises.

You can call my office to set up a free consultation.