An eviction is a legal process that results in a tenant's removal from possession of a rented property. The legal proceeding varies by jurisdiction, however, it is often called "unlawful detainer" or "forcible entry and detainer." Generally, a landlord can evict a tenant for a breach of the lease, such as a failure to pay rent or for damaging the property. Although evicting a family member, such as your son, may be very emotionally difficult, it may be necessary to protect your financial condition.
Give notice to your son that he must vacate the property or cure the default. The default refers to the unpaid rent or other breach of lease. Generally, a notice to pay or quit is used for past-due rent, and a notice to cure or quit is used for beaches of the lease. Form notices can be found at your local law library. Law libraries are often located in courthouses. The pay or quit notice usually allows three days and the cure and quit notice often allows 20 to 30 days prior to initiation of eviction proceedings.
File a complaint with the local state court for unlawful detainer if the past rent is not paid or the breach is not cured. The complaint along with the summons issued on the court must be served on the tenant.
Attend the hearing on the complaint at the time and date set by the court. Often the court will set the hearing on an expedited basis, as short as two weeks. If the tenant does not appear at the hearing or file a response to the complaint, the judge will likely enter judgment in your favor, allowing eviction. If the tenant appears at the hearing but does not respond to the complaint, the judge will likely require you to provide evidence of the breach or unpaid rent.
Ask the sheriff to forcibly remove the tenant if he does not leave on his own.
- Do not engage in behavior that would constitute "self-help." Self-help includes turning off the power or heat to the tenant, moving the tenant's property and locking the tenant out. These acts are illegal and can cause you to incur liability.
- Consult an attorney to be aware of the specific landlord-tenant laws of your state.
- Lawyers.com: Eviction
- "Landlord and Tenant Law in a Nutshell"; David S. Hill; 2004