How Do I Get Someone Out of My House?

How Do I Throw Someone Out of My House?

So you have the house guest from hell! They were invited to stay for a short time and then, without your consent or permission, they extended their stay. Did a friend or co-worker sleep on your couch for one day -never really invited so much- and they are still there? Did you try to help someone for a few days and NOW they more or less gave moved in? All you can think about is:

“Get The Hell Out of My House!”

In the Eyes of the Law, You’ve Got a Problem

Someone is overstaying their welcome and HERE YOU ARE looking at a legal website. You’re not wrong! Here in California, that’s probably exactly where you need to be. You’d be surprised who has rights under the laws that are heavily weighted toward “tenants.” Your predictable retort is: “Wait! They’re not a tenant! Not a renter! They are a squatter!”

please vacate my house now!We are not talking about a person who is on the lease with you – as a roommate, or on title with you. We are talking about a relative, co-worker, or friend who, for whatever reason, needed a place to stay for a day or a few weeks and now they’ve effectively moved in against your will.

Or it could have been “temporarily with your permission.” For example, were you experimenting with a possible long-term relationship and your boyfriend or girlfriend moved in for a trial period; things aren’t working out, and now they simply will not leave? No matter how your now-unwanted house or apartment guest got there, now you want your life back and want them to leave.

Unfortunately, getting an unwanted guest out – who has overstayed their welcome can be legally tricky. Especially in California where tenants, renters, non-paying guests or outright squatters apparently have some rights that the state defends.

Your Guest is Now a Freeloader – It’s Costing You

Not only did your now-unwanted guest overstay their welcome – you’ve lost your feeling of having your own home; you’ve lost your privacy; you’ve lost your ability to invite others over to spend the night or hang with you for the weekend — they are upending your whole lifestyle.

Is it worse than that? Are they now eating your food; running up your utility bills; parking their oil-dripping car in your driveway; causing a landlord to charge you additional rent or even face being evicted over the extra person who is not “approved” in your lease? Are they doing all this and not contributing money to offset their added burden and costs? What can you do?

Pile Your Freeloader’s Stuff in Drive and Change the Locks?

You want to pile your freeloader’s stuff outside in the driveway – and change the locks. Guess what? If he or she calls the po-po, changes are that the law enforcement officer is going to ‘counsel’ you to let them back in! Really? Maybe… It depends. Depends on the LEA (Law Enforcement Agency) and their policies. No matter how your unwanted “guest” got into your apartment or house; no matter that they are not on the title, not on the lease, and nothing much more than a freeloading squatter, the po-po may not take your side. They may not want any part of this civil messiness. Depending on the time your guest has stayed, your relationship with the guest, the story the guest tells to the cops, the local police might just extricate themselves from your dispute by calling your problem a landlord/tenant matter — and they are not wrong. You may have to legally evict your freeloader. Let’s explore this a little more…

Police May Be Able to Help – Is the ‘Guest’ Receiving Mail There?

Has your freeloader started receiving any mail at your address? Many freeloaders have their bank or government agency change their resident address to your place — not because they went to law school — but because they really didn’t have any other address that was as convenient.

Unfortunately, if they have proof that they are receiving U.S. mail – at your address, and you call the police to ask them to escort them out of your place, the cops will be far less likely to get involved. In their eyes the freeloading guest has (even without your permission) officially made your home their residence! If they are not receiving mail there yet, and you’ve already ASKED your unwanted guest TO LEAVE before involving the police and your guest clearly refuses, you can call the police to come visit to see if they’ll help you. Depending on the law enforcement agency in your city, it may be as simple as requesting the police to escort them out of the property as a trespasser. If so, learn your lesson and next time you allow someone to sleep on your couch – don’t! Or ask a lawyer how to write a paragraph-long agreement.

If Police Won’t Help – You Will Have to Evict the Freeloader

Even if you think: “Hey, I allowed my girlfriend to stay here for a couple weeks”, and you claim your brief relationship is NOT a normal landlord/tenant arrangement, in the ‘eyes of the law’ here in California, you are her landlord and she is your tenant!

You May Have to Evict Your FreeloaderAnd that’s why, if you called the cops – they refused to escort your ‘guest’ out of your home. We know that is tough, but you are going to have to comply with all the requirements of a ’normal’ and ‘legal’ eviction, including presenting your squatter a 30-day written notice by certified mail (or process server) and, if she refuses to vacate in 30-days, if you haven’t already, you should hire an attorney and have your attorney file an ‘unlawful detainer’ action.

Yes it is a lawsuit, but unlike a normal civil lawsuit – a landlord/tenant unlawful detainer is “fast tracked” in the court system (15-45 days are common) and an UD is more affordable than most any other court-overseen civil legal matters.

What Personal Property Protections Can You Take?

Sometimes, when you are forced to legally evict an unwanted guest who has overstayed his or her welcome, there are bound to be some hard feeling when they receive by certified mail (or process server) either the initial 30-day notice to vacate, or the follow-up legal summons referred to as an ‘unlawful detainer’ if they ignore the 30-day notice. If you cannot be home all day and you fear that your squatter might steal or damage your personal property, you could have deadbolt locks installed on your segregated areas’ interior doors of the apartment or house.

For example, perhaps you have an office with a valuable computer and private files – and you are concerned that as the court date gets closer, your squatter might take your stuff to a pawn shop to get some rent money together; install locks on the doors to those critical spaces. Then if they break in to those areas, you can call the police and file a legitimate complaint of burglary or trespass. The best course of action is to get some counsel from the lawyer you hired to do your eviction as to how to carefully act as you grudgingly comport to this short landlord/tenant relationship you find yourself in.

Experienced Real Estate Lawyers – Sound Legal Advice

When you have a real estate problem like a freeloader or worse, it is in your best interest to seek quick, wise, legal advice. We offer competent and affordable legal advice to individuals, professionals and business owners participating in the real estate market

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