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TJ, Esq.
TJ, Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 12209
Experience:  JD, MBA
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What if this situation is the same in all respects except that

Customer Question

What if this situation is the same in all respects except that there is no written contract and the lodger pays zero rent and zero expenses?
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  TJ, Esq. replied 6 years ago.
Hello and thank you for allowing me the opportunity to assist you.

Can you provide a little more background? It almost looks like adding to a different question that you already asked, but I don't see any other questions in your history.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
I have a person living in a room in my home. I am the sole owner, and there is no other person living here other than myself and the lodger. There has never been a written contract. The person (a lady) was allowed to move in seven years ago because she was being physically abused in her previous living situation. There is no rent paid and there is no sharing of utilities. It is a complete free ride which has become unacceptable. There is not now nor in the past any type of relationship other than friends. Since there is no contract, how much time between having her served and the actual removal process. I also want all her property removed. She has filled up my garage with mostly junk and I cannot use it for my vehicles. Is this a quick removal thing or must I go through the court. The California Civil Code on line says no court action is required and the lodger can be removed by the sheriff after expiration of the notice to leave.
Expert:  TJ, Esq. replied 6 years ago.
Hi again. Thank you for the additional details.

In my opinion, the lodger is no more than a house guest, and therefore, she has no possessory rights to the house. Thus, she must leave when you ask her to leave, and she becomes a trespasser if she refuses. Since trespassers do not need to be evicted through the courts, I agree with what you've read.

However, you should note that this is a very technical point in the law, and therefore, you may not get help from the sheriff since he may claim that this is a civil dispute that must be decided in court. Therefore, unless you want to literally lock the lodger out of the house (i.e., change the locks), and then defend yourself in court against a wrongful eviction lawsuit (that you'd probably win), then the best decision is to just bite the bullet and file a traditional eviction action.

As an aside, there is California case law that supports what I've written: Cassidy v. Cassidy, C052802 (Cal. App., 2008).

Have I satisfactorily addressed your concerns? If not, then feel free to let me know, as I will be happy to clarify my answer or help with your follow-up questions. In the meantime, please remember to click the green accept button so that I will receive credit and compensation for my time (doing so does not end our session). Positive feedback is always appreciated as well. Thank you and good luck!
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Customer: replied 6 years ago.
It's not what I wanted to hear, but it seems that I will just have to file an eviction action. Wehn I am living in my own home, the law should give more leeway to the owner.. The "lock out" thing would be a no go because this person is very vindictive. With her junk filling up my garage, my vehicles would be fair game for any vandalism. "No good deed ever goes unpunished, does it? Thanks.