Allowing a guest to stay at your house for an extended period is a kind gesture, but in some cases it can be difficult to get rid of the person if he or she gets too comfortable—especially if that person doesn't have another place to go. If you have a guest who has overstayed his or her welcome, and you want that person to leave once and for all, take a balanced, logical, step-by-step approach to the situation. But by all means, address the issue immediately—the longer you wait the harder it could become to enforce your request.
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In a firm yet amicable tone, ask the guest to leave your home by a certain date. In picking a date, give the guest a few days to make other arrangements, but make it perfectly clear that no extension is possible past that date. Provide the person with leads for finding his or her own place. If this is a close friend or family member, consider offering a small amount of money to help him of her get settled in a temporary location.
Wait until the move-out date and refuse any requests from the guest to stay longer. It's important to stand firmly by your initial request—no extensions. Remind the person early on the requested move-out date that he or she must leave by the end of day.
Call the police immediately if the guest doesn’t leave on his or her own accord by the end of day, disregards your request, or gets belligerent about the situation. There's no need to tell the guest that you're making this call—do what you can to avoid conflicts until the police arrive to mediate the situation. Explain the circumstances to the officers and ask them to escort the guest off of the premises. In most cases, a guest doesn't have a legal right to remain in your home without your consent, as a tenant would, so formal eviction proceedings are not necessary.
Change the locks and the password on your alarm system, if you're concerned about the person returning at a later date. Make sure you get a formal report from the police department in case of future issues with the guest.
Tips and warnings
- If the guest is staying at a property that you rent, is not listed on the lease, and refuses to leave, call the police and show the officer a copy of the lease to have the person removed from the premises immediately.
- If your situation is more complex, invest in a short consultation with a lawyer to determine the proper course of action.
- Do not allow a guest to stay longer than two weeks (30 days at the very longest). Make this condition clear when you first allow him or her to stay. In some jurisdictions, once the guest has stayed with your for longer than 30 days, the authorities may consider him of her a tenant or lodger in a verbal "week-to-week" or "month-to-month" living arrangement. In this case, you'll have to go through the same eviction proceedings as a landlord. See Resources, below, for information about the formal eviction process and a list of landlord tenant laws by state.
- Do not allow the guest to receive mail at your home.
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