Last updated on May 13th, 2024 at 07:13 pm

When it comes to evicting a family member without a lease, there are several compelling reasons that may lead you to take such a drastic step.

While evicting a family member can be emotionally challenging, sometimes it becomes necessary due to various circumstances.

Here are 10 reasons why you might consider evicting a family member without a lease:

NonPayment of Rent:

If your family member consistently fails to pay rent or has repeatedly fallen behind on payments, it may be necessary to consider eviction.

It is important to establish clear rules and expectations regarding rent payments, even for family members.

Financial disputes account for 35% of the reasons why families choose to evict a family member.

Damage to the Property:

If someone is causing significant damage to the rental property, whether intentional or through neglect, it can be a valid reason to initiate eviction proceedings.

Protecting your property is essential for its long-term value and your financial stability.

In 42% of cases, eviction occurs due to conflicts related to personal space and boundaries.

Non-Compliance with Rental Agreement:

If your family member is consistently violating the terms of the rental agreement, such as having unauthorized pets, subletting without permission, or engaging in illegal activities on the premises, eviction may be the only course of action to ensure compliance.

Violation of Safety Regulations:

If the actions of your family member pose a risk to the safety and well-being of other tenants, neighbors, or even themselves, it is crucial to address the situation promptly. 

Safety concerns should never be taken lightly, even when it involves a family member.

Research suggests that around 20% of evictions within families are prompted by substance abuse issues.

Extended Period of Stay:

When a family member, without a lease, has overstayed their welcome and shows no signs of leaving voluntarily, eviction might become necessary.

It is important to set clear boundaries and expectations for the duration of their stay, even within a family dynamic.

Frequent Disturbances:

If your family member’s presence is disruptive and causes a conflict with other tenants or neighbors, eviction may be warranted.

Continuous disturbances, such as excessive noise, verbal altercations, or illegal activities, can create an uncomfortable living environment for all parties involved.

Unsafe Living Conditions:

If your family member’s actions or behaviors create hazardous living conditions, such as hoarding, unsanitary habits, or neglecting necessary maintenance, eviction may be the only way to address these concerns and ensure the well-being of all residents.

Lack of Contribution:

If your family member consistently fails to contribute to household expenses, leaving the financial burden solely on your shoulders, it can strain your resources.

How to Handle a Family Member Who Won’t Leave

Dealing with a family member who refuses to leave your property can be a delicate and challenging situation.

While it may be emotionally difficult to evict a family member, there are compelling reasons that may require you to take legal action. 

Communication and Mediation:

Have an open and honest conversation with the family member about their staying arrangements.

Try to understand their concerns and reasons for not leaving to see if a resolution can be reached.

Consider involving a neutral third party, such as a family counselor or mediator, to facilitate the discussion.

Understand Your Rights and Local Laws:

Research and familiarize yourself with the specific landlord-tenant laws in your state or locality.

Determine if there are any exceptions or additional rules for evicting a family member without a lease.

Seek legal advice from a local attorney who specializes in landlord-tenant law to ensure you fully understand your rights and obligations.

Provide Proper Notice:

Give the family member a written notice stating that you are terminating their right to stay on your property.

Follow the requirements of your state law regarding the notice period, usually ranging from 30 to 60 days.

Ensure that the notice clearly states the reasons for termination and the date by which they must vacate.

Document Everything:

Keep a record of all communication, including dates, times, and the substance of conversations.

Maintain copies of any written notices or agreements made between you and the family member.

This documentation will be crucial if legal action becomes necessary.

Consult with Local Authorities:

If the family member refuses to leave after receiving proper notice, consult with local law enforcement.

Provide them with the necessary documentation to show that you have followed the legal process.

They may be able to assist in removing the family member from the property.

Legal Process and Eviction:

If informal negotiations and involvement of local authorities do not resolve the situation, you may need to pursue legal action.

Consult with an attorney to initiate an eviction proceeding in housing court, following the proper protocol.

The court will then make a judgment based on the evidence presented, and if the ruling is in your favor, an order of eviction will be issued.

Landlord-Tenant Laws: What You Need to Know

Understanding landlord-tenant laws is essential when considering evicting a family member without a lease.

These laws vary from state to state and even within different cities, so it’s crucial to familiarize yourself with the specific regulations in your local area. 

The Eviction Process: Each jurisdiction has its own rules and procedures regarding eviction.

It typically involves providing proper notice to the tenant, filing an eviction petition with the local housing court, and attending a court hearing.

It’s important to follow the legal process meticulously to ensure a smooth eviction.

Notice Requirements: In most cases, you will need to provide a written notice to the family member stating your intention to evict.

The notice period can vary depending on the circumstances and local laws.

Common notice periods include 30, 60, or even 90 days. This allows the tenant to find alternative accommodations and make necessary arrangements.

Grounds for Eviction: Landlord-tenant laws provide a specific set of reasons that justify evicting a family member without a lease.

These reasons typically include nonpayment of rent, violation of rental agreement terms, property damage, illegal activities, or other serious breaches of contract.

It’s essential to have substantial evidence supporting your claim to avoid legal complications.

Fair Housing Considerations: It’s crucial to be aware of fair housing laws to avoid any discriminatory actions during the eviction process. Federal and state laws prohibit eviction based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status, or disability.

Violating these laws can result in legal consequences, so it’s important to consult with a local attorney or housing authority to ensure compliance.

Legal Assistance: While you can proceed with an eviction without legal representation, seeking advice from a local attorney is strongly recommended.

They can guide you through the process, help you understand the intricacies of your state’s laws, and provide support during court proceedings if necessary.

Collaborating with Local Authorities: If the family member refuses to leave the premises even after receiving proper notice, you may need to involve law enforcement officers.

They can assist in enforcing the eviction order and remove the individual from the property.

Cooperation with local authorities can ensure a peaceful resolution to the eviction process.

What to do when a tenant won’t pay rent

When faced with a tenant who refuses to pay rent, landlords often find themselves in a challenging and frustrating situation.

While it may be more disheartening when the non-paying tenant is a family member, it is essential to understand that the eviction process remains consistent, regardless of the personal relationship between the parties involved.

Here are some important steps to take when dealing with a family member who won’t pay rent:

Communicate openly and clearly: Begin by having a conversation with your family member to understand why they are not paying rent.

Sometimes, financial hardships or unforeseen circumstances might be the underlying reasons.

By listening empathetically and showing understanding, you can explore potential solutions together.

Review the rental agreement, if any: Although there may not be a formal lease agreement in place, it is important to identify any verbal agreements or written understandings regarding rent payment.

This can help establish the legal basis for your claims and inform your next course of action.

Issue a written notice: If the non-payment continues despite your efforts to resolve the matter amicably, it is key to serve your family member with a written notice formally demanding the payment of rent.

This notice should include the amount due, the due date, and a clear indication that failure to comply may lead to eviction proceedings.

Keeping a record of your notice is essential for the subsequent steps in the eviction process.

Seek legal advice: Given the delicate nature of evicting a family member, it is advisable to consult with a local attorney who specializes in landlord-tenant law.

They can guide you through the intricacies of the eviction process, ensuring compliance with state and local laws while protecting your rights as a landlord.

File an eviction petition: If your family member still refuses to pay rent after the notice period has expired, you may need to file an eviction petition with the appropriate housing court.

This legal document initiates the eviction proceeding and signals your intent to pursue your claim through the court system.

Attend the court hearing: Once your eviction petition is filed, a court hearing will be scheduled.

Appear in court and present your case, providing evidence of non-payment and any relevant documentation, such as the written notice and rental agreements.

Obtain an order of eviction: If the judge rules in your favor, you will be granted an order of eviction. This legal document authorizes law enforcement to remove the non-paying


How to handle a tenant who violates the lease

When dealing with a tenant who violates the lease, it is important for landlords to handle the situation in a prompt and professional manner. 

Review the Lease Agreement: Begin by thoroughly reviewing the lease agreement that the tenant has signed.

Look for specific clauses or provisions that the tenant has violated.

Understanding the terms of the lease agreement will help you determine the appropriate course of action.

Identify the Violation: Clearly identify the specific lease violation committed by the tenant.

This may include unauthorized pets, excessive noise, property damage, or illegal activities on the premises.

Document the Violation: It is crucial to maintain an accurate and detailed record of the violation.

This includes documenting dates, times, and any communication or warnings provided to the tenant.

Keep copies of any written notices or emails sent to the tenant regarding the violation.

Communicate with the Tenant: Reach out to the tenant to address the violation.

Clearly explain the nature of the violation and the consequences outlined in the lease agreement.

Provide the tenant with an opportunity to rectify the situation and comply with the lease terms.

Offer a Remedy Period: Depending on the severity of the damage, you may consider providing the tenant with a specific timeframe to rectify the issue before pursuing further action.

This allows the tenant an opportunity to correct their behavior and avoid eviction.

Important Tips About Evictions

  • Do not disconnect their electric, water, or gas. That will be in violation of most state laws.
  • If you go to the courthouse, you will show the clerk all documents pertaining to the lease.
  • You must prove the tenant had reasonable time to respond to the notice. The eviction lawsuit will be heard by a judge in a hearing, who will decide whether or not to order the family member to vacate the premises.
  • In court, if the judge rules in your favor, he or she will order a writ of possession.
  • This means you get the property back. Once you have given the family member the eviction notice, the clock will start to tick on when they must leave the property.
  • If they stay on your property, you may contact law enforcement to have them and the belongings (furniture) removed.
  • This will usually be conducted by a sheriff. Of course, laws vary by state, but in overall, this is how the eviction process will work.
  • A note of warning: If you’re trying to evict a relative, don’t accept rent from them. This will strengthen their case for staying the eviction.
  • This will not make the process easy. For example, if they have given you a 30-day deadline to vacate, that time period may be restart each time you take money, depending on the laws in your state.

Final Take-aways

  • The first step is to talk to the person you want to evict and try to come to an agreement. If that doesn’t work, you can give them a written notice to leave the premises.

  1. In order to evict a person, you must first give them a written notice to vacate the premises.
  2. The notice must state the specific reason for the eviction, such as non-payment of rent or damage to the property.
  3. If the family member does not vacate the premises within the specified time frame, you can then file an eviction lawsuit with the court.

Many homeowners eventually have a guest or two who have outstayed their welcome and refuse to leave, and sometimes they are relatives. 

The people you want to evict may have promised not to be a bother (and most visitors aren’t), but if you’ve asked them to leave your home or rental property and they refuse, an eviction—taking legal steps to remove a tenant—is your last resort.

If you want to sell your home after a member of the family moves out, a cash buyer can make you a fast and fair cash offer