Many people allow family members to move in and live with them because of tough economic times or a sense of duty. Unfortunately, cohabitating with relatives doesn't always work out. If you ask your family member to leave and he refuses, your only other option may be to legally evict him. Evicting a family member from your home is a tricky task that should be carefully contemplated and executed by following all of your local laws.
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Download, print or pick up the correct form to serve your relative with a legal eviction notice. The correct form will depend on your legal reason for the eviction. For example, if nonpayment of rent is the reason for the eviction, serve a "Notice to Pay or Quit." This gives your family member an exact date and amount that rent has to be paid, or he must vacate the premises. If there isn't a lease or it's expired, a written notice to "Vacate the Premises" is all that's needed.
Fill out the form using clear, precise, professional language. Leave personal issues and annoyances off of your legal paperwork.
Serve your relative with the legal notice required in your county. Ask him to sign and date the notice, then give him a copy. If he doesn't comply with the reason, such as paying rent that's owed or altering legally unacceptable behaviour, he must leave by the deadline given. If he doesn't leave by the deadline, you can have him physically removed by law enforcement. Most counties require a 30-, 60- or 90-day notice.
Tips and warnings
- Research the eviction laws in your county. These vary from county to county, so it's important to know what your legal rights are in your local community. Your county or state's official website should have this information. Another option is to ask your county clerk.
- Contact an attorney who specialises in landlord and tenant law in your community if you need further assistance.
- Document everything. Keep detailed notes, keeping to facts only and avoiding personal issues. Take pictures of any damage or physical proof that you can. If your relative challenges the eviction or there is any other reason that you must attend court, factual proof of your claims will help the judge make an informed decision.
- Inform the police and courts immediately if you fear for your life or the safety of your other family members. If the relative you are trying to evict has given any inclination or threat that he will harm you, your home or other occupants, make that known right away. File for a temporary restraining order or protective order against that family member.
- Avoid making biased or false accusations. Doing so may cause the judge to rule against you, possibly even ordering you to pay fines and penalties.
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