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LandlordTenantAnswer, Attorney
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 28370
Experience:  Landlord-Tenant Disputes, Leases, Evictions, Foreclosures.
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I own my house in NH and have a friend who has been living

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I own my house in NH and have a friend who has been living with me for quiet a while now. He came upon some tough times and hasn't been able to pay rent all the time. I have been keeping track of the payments and the monthly rent that has or hasnt been paid. It has gotten to the point that I can no longer float him because the amount is to much. What I need to know, can I ask him to leave since there is no actual lease and if he is not willing to go easily will I have to follow the eviction process even though there is no signed lease or can I just go to the police or change the locks?
Hi! I will be the professional that will be helping you today. I look forward to providing you with information to help solve your problem.

Good evening. I certainly understand the situation and your concern. This situation is very common. Even though there is no written lease agreement, he does pay rent and would be considered a month to month tenant. If he is failing to pay rent as agreed and you no longer want him residing with you, then you would have to go through the eviction process, through the courts, if he was unwilling to leave on his own. You can certainly ask him to leave or come to an agreement with him, on when he will vacate but if he refuses to do so or comply, you need to evict him. You can not use self help to get him out and change the locks or else he could come back and sue you. You could try and call the police and ask them to remove him but they are likely going to tell you this is a civil issue and can not get involved.

New Hampshire has a special process for eviction. No landlord can lawfully evict a tenant without following the steps set out by state law (RSA 540). A tenant can be evicted for violating the lease. If the tenant has no written lease, she or he can be evicted for a variety of reasons. In New Hampshire, tenants renting part of a privately owned and owner-occupied home can be evicted for almost any reason.

In New Hampshire, there are five "good" causes for eviction:

Failure to pay the rent;
Substantial damage to the premises;
Behavior that affects the health and safety of others;
Violation of the lease;
Other good cause.
"Other good cause" may include legitimate business reasons of the landlord. If, however, the "other" cause is something that the tenant did or did not do, then the landlord must first give the tenant a written warning that in the future the action or inaction will be grounds for eviction.

The tenant can reverse the order for eviction in the first three causes by "remedying" the situation, that is, paying the rent, repairing the damage, and so forth.

A landlord can legally evict a tenant only by sending a written notice to the tenant. This written notice must be in the form of a "written notice to quit or leave" which is a legal document. Eviction for not paying rent, damages to the property or danger to the health or safety of others require seven days' notice. All other grounds for eviction require 30 days' notice.

In the case where a tenant has not paid rent, the landlord must make a written demand for payment of the money before issuing the notice-to-quit. The notice-to-quit for nonpayment of rent must explain the tenant's right to defeat eviction by paying the rent owed plus $15 before the last day of the notice-to-quit (RSA 540:3, IV). If the payment is made, then eviction for nonpayment of rent is no longer possible (RSA 540:2-5, 9). However, tenants can only avoid eviction by "curing nonpayment" three times during one calendar year.

The landlord may NOT break into the dwelling, may NOT move a tenant's belongings out, and may NOT turn off the heat and utilities. The sheriff is the only person who may remove property from the premises and this can be done only after the landlord has been awarded a court judgment called a "writ of possession" (RSA 540-A:3, III-IV).

A landlord cannot evict a tenant for reporting a building or housing code violation to the authorities, lawfully withholding rent, filing a complaint in court asking for an order to stop certain practices, or meeting with or organizing other tenants (RSA 540:13-A).

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Hi Mike. I just wanted to follow up and see if you had any other questions or needed me to clarify something. I am here to help, so please let me know. Thanks!
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Thank you for the quick response, I understand most of it as I read the law on the NH site but wasnt sure with my situtation of no actual lease. When it comes to mailing them a letter, which in my case sounds like 7 days notice sicne he hasnt paid rent? Would it go to his parents house since he has never actually changed his address to here and has nothing that actually shows him living here. Everything he has is from his MA address. I check my own mail so would I send it to this house and give it to him? I think its getting into another area since he never physically changed his address to where I live?

To be clear, I would need to send a letter with 7 days notice to pay back the rent (the total over the 6 months)
After which point I could send a written notice to quite or leave?

Im not sure what the curing payment for three times means?

Basically over the course of 6 months at $500 a month as a favor, he has paid me about $500 so 5 months are past due essentially. There is another matter of lending him money for something else but I think that would be another legal matter for lending money so the focus here for possible eviction purposes would be the back rent I assume.

I would be happy to clarify and below is what he and you need to be aware of:

If you are being evicted for not paying rent, your landlord must serve you with a Demand for Rent. The demand tells you how much rent you owe, and cannot ask for more rent than you actually owe. The demand must be served personally (handed to you) or left at your home before or at the same time as the eviction notice (sometimes called a notice to quit).
Eviction Notice - formerly known as Notice to Quit
In all evictions your landlord must serve you with an Eviction Notice or a Notice to Quit. This notice must:
Be in writing;
Be served personally or left at your door (a sheriff does not have to serve it);
State the specific reason for the eviction;
Give you at least 7 days’ notice to leave if the reason for the eviction is because: of nonpayment; your behavior has harmed the health or safety of other tenants or the landlord; or you have caused substantial damage to the premises;
Give you at least 30 days’ notice to leave in all other cases;
Tell you of your right to cure, if the eviction is for nonpayment of rent.
Both the Demand for Rent and the Eviction Notice/Notice to Quit must be either handed to you directly or left at your home.
The right to cure means that you can avoid eviction by paying all of the back rent – plus $15 – by the date the eviction notice/notice to quit expires. If you pay on time, you can defeat the eviction and do not have to move. You can only cure three times in a 12 month period.
If a landlord fails to take any of the steps described above, a tenant can ask the court to dismiss (drop) the eviction.
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