How to Evict a Friend With No Renter's Agreement Who Pays No Rent or Utilities

Evicting a friend requires a specific procedure.
••• time is money image by Jeff from

Eviction procedures are difficult enough, but when you add the double whammy of evicting a friend and no written agreement, it gets even tougher. Most states consider a friend not paying rent or utilities to be a month-to-month renter. Since the friend does not have an agreement with the landlord, you would be considered the landlord in this case. This situation requires a legal eviction procedure in order to get the friend out of the household, and it may require going to court if he refuses to leave.

Give your friend a written notice to leave the property. This notice is sometimes called a "Notice to Quit" or "Notice to Vacate." There is no standard legal form required for the written notice, and you write it and serve it yourself. The written notice gives the reason for eviction and the date to leave. Since there is only an oral agreement at best in this case, the eviction reason used is terminating a month-to-month tenancy. Each state requires a specific amount of time for a tenant to move out, and it's usually around one to two months in this situation.

File an "Unlawful Detainer" suit at the proper civil or housing court. Talk to the court clerk to receive the forms to file. The suit requires an eviction complaint detailing the reasons for eviction, and a summons form. Pay the clerk the filing fee and keep copies of all of the forms.

Read More: How to Cancel an Eviction Process

Serve your friend with the court summons. You cannot do this yourself. A process server, a friend without interest in the eviction, or a sheriff is allowed to deliver the summons. Most states require at least one attempt at hand delivery. If hand delivery fails, the summons is posted on the door and mailed via certified mail to the friend.

Arrive at court with copies of the written notice and the complaint. If there is any sort of verbal agreement between you and your friend, write down the terms and make a copy. Otherwise, explain the situation to the judge. Since the friend pays no rent or utilities, and has no rental agreement, it will be hard for him to make a case to prevent eviction. The only exception is if you tried to evict your friend by changing the locks or threatening him.

Return to the court clerk if the friend has not moved out after the appeals period. The appeal and move-out period is different in each state, so refer to the Landlord and Tenant Act for your state. File a Writ of Restitution and hand it to the sheriff. The sheriff will serve your friend with notice of the Writ anywhere from 24 hours to a few weeks before he intends on enforcing the eviction ruling. The sheriff will then remove your friend and his property from the home, and it will now be illegal for your friend to enter the property without your permission.


  • If you are not allowed to have subtenants or occupants in your rental agreement, your landlord has just cause to evict you.

Related Articles