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CalAttorney2
CalAttorney2, Attorney
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 10237
Experience:  I am a civil litigation attorney with experience representing both landlords and tenants in residential and commercial property disputes.
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My step son lives with us. He is 23 and not paying rent. He

Customer Question

My step son lives with us. He is 23 and not paying rent. He is using heroin and we want him out of the house. How do we go about getting him out?
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Expert:  CalAttorney2 replied 10 months ago.

Dear Customer,

I am sorry to learn of this situation, you must go through the unlawful detainer/forcible entry and detainer process. As he is abusing/using illegal narcotics, you can utilize a shortened (3 day in most states) notice as opposed to a longer 30 day notice reserved for individuals that are not engaged in illegal activities.

The overall process works like this:

  • "Eviction" is a word that is often misused and it leads to a lot of confusion, to help, here are the steps in terminating a tenancy:

    Terminating a tenancy-

    1) Notice: The first step in any termination is giving notice, the landlord can simply give notice that they no longer want the tenant to live there (this is usually 30 days, or 60 days, and it can be done for no reason whatsoever, there is no fault, and while the tenant must relocate, they are not being "evicted" and there is no blemish on their rental history), they can give a "notice to pay or quit" (usually 3 day or 5 day depending on the state, and the tenant has this amount of time to pay rent that they missed or move out), "notice to "cure or quit" (the tenant has breached the lease - broken something, noisy, etc. and must stop it or fix it within the notice period, again 3 days, 5 days, or 10 days), or a "notice to quit" (this is a 3 day or 5 day notice that says the tenant has messed up so badly they can do nothing but move out within the notice period - there is no chance to "cure" - this often happens when there is illegal activity on the property).

    2) Unlawful detainer/forcible entry and detainer (this is the legal proceeding where the landlord goes to court and sues the tenant to get possession - the tenant has an opportunity to appear and defend the action, common defenses include improper notice, breach of the lease (such as failure to maintain the property - "inhabitable conditions"). If the tenant answers the complaint, the parties can take "discovery" from one another and get additional information before a court trial before a judge.

    3) A judgment of possession/writ of eviction - if the landlord wins the trial, they get a judgment of possession and the court will issue a "writ of eviction."

    4) Forcible eviction - this happens when the Sheriff or Constable serves the writ of eviction - some jurisdictions give a courtesy notice the day or two before the eviction, others do not, but the end result is the sheriff overseeing the landlord's movers removing all of the tenant's possessions from the property and placing them on the curb, and the tenants are forcibly removed from the property. At that point, the landlord can change the locks and the tenant can no longer return (They have been "evicted").

All states follow the above general process. Individual states have specific rules of procedure, if you provide me with the state in which you are located I can generally find more specific resources that can aid you (this site in particular is very useful: http://www.landlordguidance.com/ - it is a fee for use site, but it gives "landlords" (you are considered the landlord in this situation), all of the necessary forms and information in one place, some states such as CA are very helpful, while other states have less information available for free).

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Thank you for your help.
Expert:  CalAttorney2 replied 10 months ago.

You are welcome, and I do wish you the best with this matter.

Thank you for using our forum, and please do not forget to rate my service so that I can receive credit for assisting you.

If you would like to direct future questions to me specifically, you can do so by starting your new question with "For William B. Esq." and a moderator will notify me.

Thank you again, and again I wish you the best.

Bill