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Legal Eagle
Legal Eagle, Lawyer
Category: Landlord-Tenant
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Experience:  Licensed to practice before state and federal court
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If I make an agreement with someone to let them live on my

Customer Question

If I make an agreement with someone to let them live on my property for free for 1 year so that they can get back on their feet, and make it clear that the person has to leave after the year is over, how can I enforce that the person leaves at that time? What if the person refuses to leave after the year?
Submitted: 2 months ago via Cornell Legal Info Institute.
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Expert:  Legal Eagle replied 2 months ago.

Hello! I am a licensed attorney, admitted to practice in state and federal court. I have a nearly 100% satisfaction rating so all that means is that you can count on me to help today. I think it is very Noble that you are looking to let someone live on your property free for one year. One of the things that you can do to make it clear that the person has to leave after one year is just get it basically Sacrament. If you go to rocketlawyer.com or to legalzoom.com, you would probably be able to find a residential lease agreement for less than $20. In the lease agreement you can say that the lease is only good for one year and that the person does not have to pay. You can say that they do not have the right to stay on the property after the One year is up.

if the individual decides to stay after the one year is up, you're going to have to get a court order to get the person out. Massachusetts law prohibits landlord from Simply throwing people out on the street after their lease is up. This means that you'd have to go through What's called the unlawful detainer process, which means that you would basically need to file a lawsuit in a local court and get a court order to have the person removed. Sometimes this can take somewhere between one month or 3 months depending on how busy the court is. Regardless, once you have their court order, you can have it handed to the Sheriff's office or the state police and they will be able to remove the individual from the premises lawfully.

Although I provided an initial answer, it’s important that you are 100% satisfied. If you feel I have done so, please rate me 5 stars and let me know if you have any follow up questions. As a side note, you can also click here in the future to request me individually.

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
Thank you for your answer. What im basically trying to do is a nonprofit org that would help people get back on their feet with the help of sponsors. Id like to have a yearly rotation of people being helped in the apartments i own. That being said, id like to let struggling families live in my apartments rent free for 1 year to help them get ahead and out of the situation they are in. However, i realize that some people will not want to leave after the year. Which to me would be important so we would want to help the most people, also i could imagine the other sponsors would get sheepish about donating funds to a org that would be suing and forcfully evicting the people that we are supposed to be helping once their time is up. Is there anyway, legally, to get around the eviction rules, for example i know hotels make people check out and check back in before 30 days so the long term guests are not considered legally tenants. If not are there any states that would be more friendly to what im trying to accomplish? Thanks in advance.
Expert:  Legal Eagle replied 2 months ago.

Well, it is certainly my pleasure to help out and I think what you are trying to do is very good thing. the law in every state does not let you evict somebody after the lease is up without getting a court order Unless the tenant decides to leave by themselves. One of the things that you could do is set up your own informal negotiation procedures to help both the organization and the tenants come to a resolution if they decide to hold over. Also, if the tenant decides to stay, you could have them sign a month to month agreement that keeps them as tenants and avoid court as much as possible.

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
Thank you again for your answer but you did not talk about this part of my question.
"Is there anyway, legally, to get around the eviction rules, for example i know hotels make people check out and check back in before 30 days so the long term guests are not considered legally tenants. "
How do hotels get rid of guests that refuse to leave?
Expert:  Legal Eagle replied 2 months ago.

I'm sorry if I did not address that portion. There is no way to get around the eviction rules if someone stays beyond the date they are required to vacate the premises. Tenants have different rights than hotel guests in that hotel guests are not residents of the property and every minute they are there beyond the termination date of their contract they are considered trespassers. Basically, they do not have the same protections under the law as tenants and hotel owners can call the police/sheriff to get them removed.

In your case, you won't be able to do the same things as hotels because a tenant that stays beyond their termination date must either a) leave on their own or b) the landlord must get a court order to have them removed.

Expert:  Legal Eagle replied 2 months ago.

Your best options are going to be to put in your lease that if they refuse to leave after the one year mark, they will automatically switch to a month to month tenancy. If they switch to that, then you can evict them so long as you give thirty days written notice. Only if they refuse to leave at the end of the thirty days, then you have to get a court order. This way, if they need one or two additional months, you can avoid having to go to court and they may just leave on their own.