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LADY LAWYER, Family Law Attorney
Category: Family Law
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Experience:  Family Law Attorney
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How to legally get my boyfriend to move out of my home?

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How can I legally get my boyfriend to move out of my home. I own the house, and he has only been there for five months. He says I can't make him leave. He is an alcoholic, and he has made my life miserable. He has broken some of my things (some accidentally), and I am afraid that he is going to end up dead or accidentally burn my house down--he smokes. I live in Maryland, and I asked a police officer who was called to my home when he fell down my steps--he said to get an eviction order. Well, when I went to the court house, they said that they don't do those kind of evictions, they only do landlord/tenant. What am I supposed to do wait until he gets angry and hurts me???? He gets his mail there. He helps with the bills, but there is no paper agreement. He also "drinks" up a lot of the money. This is so not fair!


Whomever you spoke to at the courthouse gave you completely wrong information! Under the law, you are considered your bf's landlord if you own the home and he is staying there. This is true even if he is not paying any of the bills. You said in your facts that he was, but it really does not matter either way. I am sorry you talked to an incompetent person and had to waste your time, but I am going to try and give you an overview here of the process so you will be more informed.

A landlord can't begin an eviction lawsuit without first legally terminating the tenancy. This means giving the tenant written notice, as specified in the state's termination statute. If the tenant doesn't move, you can then file a lawsuit to evict. (Technically, this is called an unlawful detainer, or UD, lawsuit.)

State laws set out very detailed requirements to end a tenancy. Different types of termination notices are required for different types of situations, and each state has its own procedures as to how termination notices and eviction papers must be written and delivered ("served"). Your bf would likely be considered a month-to-month tenant, and therefore, you would need to give him a 30-day notice that you are terminating the lease. This notice needs to be written and delivered to him personally by someone--anyone--other than you.

If your bf does not leave after the 30 days, you must begin an unlawful detainer lawsuit by properly serving the tenant with a summons and complaint for eviction. This is what you get from the courthouse and will file. If you win the unlawful detainer lawsuit, you will get a judgment for possession of the property and/or for unpaid rent. But you can't just move the tenant and his things out onto the sidewalk -- trying to remove a tenant yourself can cause a lot of trouble.

Typically, you must give the court judgment to a local law enforcement officer (sheriff or marshal), along with a fee that is charged to the tenant as part of your costs to bring suit. The sheriff or marshal gives the tenant a notice that the officer will be back within a number of days to physically remove the tenant if he isn't gone by then.

Now, from the facts you described, I DO believe a restraining order would be something you should consider. As long as you fill out an affidavit saying you feel like you are in imminent danger of physical harm, the judge will likely sign off on the order. Just be as descriptive as possible and arrange the facts in your favor. If the order is granted, the sheriff will come out and remove him immediately. This means that likely, he will get all his stuff and just move out, meaning you won't have to worry about evicting him. This would be the easiest and best option, in my opinion.

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