How Do I Evict a Friend, Family Member, Relative, Boyfriend, or Girlfriend?

By Assya Thode

It is easy and far too common to find yourself in a situation where an immediate family member, relative, or friend needs a place to stay and asks you for help.  You have probably known this person for a long time and are willing to help.  There is absolutely nothing wrong with helping, but what happens if this person over stays their welcome and then refuses to leave upon your request?*

The duration of their stay and any rent to be paid probably was not discussed in detail and you probably did not have the person sign a lease or written agreement, so how are you supposed to get this person out of your home?

Chances are you have already politely asked them to leave but after repeated failed attempts you are considering legal action because you are left with no other choice.

The first step is determining how the law characterizes your friend, relative, boyfriend, girlfriend, etc. in such circumstance.  Just because you do not have a written lease, does not mean you are powerless.

In Virginia, if no written agreement or lease is in place, then the courts consider the agreement to be verbal lease, which is treated like a month-to-month tenancy. See Virginia Code § 55-248.7 for leases governed by the Virginia Residential Landlord and Tenant Act.

The second step is to begin the eviction process.  To evict a month to month tenant, you must terminate the occupancy by sending a 30 day Notice of Termination. See Virginia Code §55-222. If the 30 day period expires and your houseguest has failed to vacate your property, you then simply follow the steps of the eviction process.  For more details and a step by step explanation of the eviction process, please see our blog The Eviction Process in Virginia: A Guide for Landlords and Tenants.<span “font-size:=”” 12.0pt;font-family:”times=”” roman””=””>

Don’t give up. Eventually, you will be able to get your unwanted guest out.

*If your guest is threatening you or you fear for your safety, please call your local law enforcement agency or 9-1-1 if it is truly an emergency.  If you fear for your safety, you may consider filing a protective order to prevent the guest from harming you. See Virginia Code § 19.2-152.10.

This blog post provides general information only and is not intended to provide the reader with legal advice. Laws often change before websites can be updated, so please contact Steven Krieger Law for a consultation to evaluate your specific case.

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112 Responses
  1. I let my 82yo father stay with me after my sister and step sister beat him up a year ago. They since filed papers and were granted a 2 year protective order against HIM for calling over there and threatening to blow up the house and burn down the barn. He has become very abusive to me and my son in my home (verbally) and all he does is sit in his chair and complain. He refuses to do anything for himself and expects me to shave him, cook his food, clean after him, and he will “accidentally” defecate on the bathroom walls, floors, shower curtain and call me to clean it. I work 12hr shifts! He has become mean, mean, mean and I cannot take this any longer. He is not on my lease and I have told him to get out and I told my sister to get him out of my house since she it the one that instigates his attitudes. He thinks that his social security check of just over $1,000 will go forever and that he is not obligated to pay anything towards the bills, food, or anything for that matter. I foot the cost of everything. I am having anxiety and panic attacks at the thought of going home and want him gone. How can I get him out of my house?

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  3. My husband and I have been renting a room from my cousin since April 2020 we are not behind on our rent, but my cousin wants me out of the house. What is the court procedure for him to make me leave

  4. I and my family were basically forced out of a home that we resided in for 7yrs. The person I resided with was my God father and he passed away and not even a week went by and his daughter entered the home started removing items belonging to not only her father but to me and my family as well. Everyday there was something being done and then one evening I returned home the utilities had been shut off without notice and more of our belongings were taken. I had nother choice but to move what was left of our belongings in fear that what was left would also be taken. We also were unable to stay in the home because the utilities had been shut off by the daughter and I have 2 minor children one in which was only a month old. Can she jist throw/ force is out without notice and take possession of our belongings even thoigh I didn’t have a lease agreement with my God father? I have resided with him in that home for 7yrs but I also resided with him in previous residences before he purchased his home in 2016. I was also his caregiver for the past 12 urs residing in his home with my family. Can I bring forth a lawsuit for wrong eviction and also for emotional distress because she caused major stress during this difficult time for my family in which my 15yr old was afraid to come home after she entered the home the first time and his tv was taken. It caused me not to be able to feed my newborn because I was under stress caused my depression I already was going through to get worse. We are now staying off and on with family and had to put what wasn’t taken in storage and we also lost all of our food due to her shutting the utilities off. She had also given me some letter that had been notarized stating e and my husband couldn’t move anything out of the home. I have been harrassed humiliated stalked tormented and torn apart through this whole ordeal. Can someone please direct me in the right direction of what I can do. My whole family is devastated and in distress.

  5. I have a question for 10 years I’ve been with a man who has solely taking care of me for this whole time 2 Apartments and we bought the house well he bought the house 5 years back we have pets none of the bills are in my name but there was never any lease agreement by any means in fact the house was a gift to me to live in because he was going to take care of me for the rest of my life but his live-in girlfriend finds out about our relationship after 10 years and he’s girls for 9 ears but she finds out and all of a sudden he wants to end the relationship and kick me out of my home where I have lived for 5 years and he has taken care of everything he even when we first stop talking he had her paying me money through cash app $200 a week it was very strange anyways eviction court is tomorrow we’re doing it over the phone because of all the covid-19 shitt but I’m scared to death he always told me to not get a job that he was going to take care of everything that this was my house I was going to get to live here forever I’m scared to death of getting covid-19 if I have to leave and go into a shelter and lose the pests that we have game together and I’m just a very very do I have a chance of being able to stay or possibly paying payments to him now 4 the house like to maybe own it?

  6. I have a question. I followed the advice here. Gave 30 days notice. Which was set to expire on September 14, 2020. It worked. As of today, September 12, 2020. He moved out. He packed up all of his belongings and left. Can I change the locks now? Do I still have to go to court to finish the eviction? I still plan on getting my order of protection but in the mean time, I really want to change the locks.

  7. I own my home and pay lot rent my fiance lives with me he pays nothing and the expenses of him living there has made my finances begin to put me in jeopardy of having my utility bills to much for me to pay with him living with me i have asked on numerous occasions for him to vacate the premises and he has not left i need help in how to evict him legally can you please assist me in having him to vacate the premises

  8. My husband’s niece asked to stay with us for a little bit. I assumed two months, but no. From July 2019 till Jan 2020 she never gave us money and we never asked for any. But in Feb. She started giving us money we still had not asked for any money In April we asked her to leave. She said no because she was a tenant and paying rent. We assumed the money was to help with bills. I did give her an eviction notice to vacate at the end if May. She still has not left. She texted my husband she is leaving on the 20th of June. But I don’t believe her. She gave us half of the money she usually gives us for June. I’m not taking anymore more money. Do I still have to take her to court to get rid of her.

    1. @Terri — Yes, you still have to take her to court if she doesn’t leave voluntarily. My firm is happy to help if you’d like to retain an legal counsel.

  9. I would like to evict my former BF who is doing drugs in my home I am afraid to call the police because we have two children and don’t want to be in trouble for his activities. he also has unwelcome guest in my home. he has left the house and has not shown up in a week after I had requested he leave. he is not on the lease, and stops by randomly to get things from the house but may not show for weeks at a timeI don’t know what to do. when is it ok for me to remove his items and change my locks? I read that according to VA law that he is considered a “tenant at sufferance.” meaning he can be evicted for any reason at all, at any time, and no notice needs to be given. I don’t feel safe because he has access to the home and able to come and go as he pleases.

  10. I am a single mother paying 100% of all bills I have a ex-boyfriend that has not worked in 1 year has a small unemployment check it ran out 5 months ago I have asked him to move out I gave him a 30 day verbal eviction but he will not leave he has been sleeping in my daughters room 9 months how can I get him to leave I own my trailer he is on no agreements his name is on my electric bill but I will be changing this I pay his car insurance and all his living needs food and all he told me I will have to go to court he has rights we broke up and he claims he is now using me and there is not a dam thing I can do about it I have only been with him 1 year and the relationship is bad verbal abuse and he is a big man not paying his child support what can I do next?

  11. The parents of a friend of mine own the home that my friend and her young adult (19) daughter are living in. The original plan was for the parents move in upon retirement and my friend and her daughter move out and go their separate ways with life. Parents have decided to sell the home in the spring of 2020. Without going into details, the relationship between the two living in the home has gotten to the point to where one has to go; either my friend or her daughter. 19 (friends daughter), has fallen victim to major depression and surrounds herself with a group of people that have zero life goals. She refuses to seek therapy, isn’t working, going to school, or even picking up after herself in the home. Heavy drug abuse and depression have led to violence in the home which has resulted in an assault battery charge against 19, with her mother being the victim. Court is coming up and my friend wants 19 out of the house until it’s time to sell. 19 refuses to leave and continues to badger, antagonize and Makes the effort to intimidate My friend on an almost daily basis. Does my friend have any legal rights to evict 19 even though she is not the owner of the home? Pls help!

  12. I have a friend of a friend that was in a bad situation and needed a place to stay until she got on her feet. Being only a guest had been discussed and that she would not be added to my lease. Nothing was ever placed in writing. I told her she could stay with me for a couple months to get on her feet and that from the beginning, the rest of the month would be free (2 weeks from when she arrived) but she would have to pay for the following month. After 2 months she still hadn’t paid me and is currently still one month behind. I have asked her to leave and she threatened me with the law so I served her with a 30 day notice of eviction. She is not on my lease and my landlord is aware that she was only a guest and not staying with me permanently. Do I need my landlord to serve her an eviction if she is not on my lease or can I do it?

  13. i Live with my parents and my husband lives with us but about year and half ago my brother moved back in and my father and i don’t feel safe and my husband is trying to make it so my father and i are ok but my mother is the only one who wants my brother to live with us he is verbally abusive and he drinks a lot of alcohol and i was wounding if there is anything my father could do it get my brother out and my the house safe again but my mother just lets my brother walk all over her and my husband and i are trying to have a baby and i’m scared to live in the house but we can’t move out we don’t have the money too and my husband buys most of the food and fix’s the house because no one else can so i was wounding is that anything that can be done so it is just my father and husband and mother and i in the house and get my brother out please let me know thanks

  14. I evicted my daughter on 30 days notice in 2018. I allowed her back in in mid-November 2019 because she was in danger from her boyfriend. On December 2, in order for her to show duress/need housing to the Va Beach Housing Resource Council, I gave her another 30-day eviction notice. It is now January 2, 2020, and she still has not left. She did not make a choice from housing options she was given by the HRC, just says she’s not going back on street. What are my next steps to get her out of my house? She is not shown on my mortgage.

  15. I own a house and let an employee stay there as long as he worked for me. He moved a girlfriend in and quit his job with me. There is no lease, no rent payments made and all utilities are in my name laid by me. Do I have to follow the eviction process here? In Virginia btw

  16. I have a gf and we’ve separated a due to her lack of parental care and contributions. We have 2 kids a 11 month and 3yr old with Cerebral Palsy. We currently live in a home I own and I’d like to have her leave. What are my options with me also retaining custody of my sons?

  17. My daughter is renting a house in Frederick County, VA. She let a ‘friend’ move in and signed a roommate agreement. The ‘friend’ has failed to pay rent now for over 2 months and refuses to leave. My daughter issued a 5 Day Pay or Quit and has since gone to the Courthouse to file a Summons for Unlawful Detainer. The court will not help her. They claim only the landlord can file and then said the landlord can’t file because the ‘friend’ is not on the lease. Seems to me someone at the court does not know what they are doing. Any advice is much appreciated.

  18. I have my sister and her 3 kids living with me and hasn’t paid rent in 7 months but does receive food stamps here in Arizona. I want to evict her and don’t know what is the correct thing to do.

  19. I am 38, have rented the same house for almost 9 years, my ex kinda just “moved” in with me and was splitting the bills (all in my name) till I became pregnant and had our daughter. She’s one. Total he has been there almost 2 years. He’s abusive, threatens to kill me, calls me horrible names and hits me. I have called the police in the past but his parents threaten me when I do. Whole situation is scary. So he’s not paying bills, I pay all them , and he stole my debit card and drained my savings and checking. I called the police,they said they can’t do anything because after 6 months he’s a resident. Even though he don’t pay any bills, take care of baby, ( I have to have a sitter even though he’s not working, and eats all the kids food.) he’s an abusive squatter, and I’m scared and don’t know what to do.

    1. @Scaarlett — If he’s physically abusive, you should file for a protective order even if his parents threaten you. If you can’t get a protective order, you should give him 5 days notice for failure to pay rent and then evict him.

  20. This is probably the most “it actually makes sense” kind of post I’ve seen on on this subject. Best part… I didn’t have to go digging through some weird web design to find it. Awesome! Please keep posting new material!

  21. Hello .. i came across this site while searching for ways to help my father get rid of my sisters boyfriend who is living with him. In brief – Dad moved in my sisters boyfriend 3 years ago as he had no place to live. Dad has a big heart that gets taken advantage of way too much. He has not only offered Justin a place to live but has also offered him a job(that he’s walked away from a few times before). While they have paid rent SOME months, it’s never consistent and no formal agreement was ever made. I’ve asked Dad – can’t you just tell him to hit the road? He doesn’t think it’s that easy.
    Any insight is greatly appreciated. Dad is 64 and it’s not fair that he and mom have to go through this.

  22. I rent the basement area of my mother in laws house along with my husband (who’s my legal caretaker/payee, I’m on SSI disability) and my 5 year old son. We pay rent, cover our share of utilities and internet monthly. In the beginning of this agreement, we spoke of a lease but it never got written (my father in law was in the end stages of liver cancer, we didn’t push the issue) however it’s been over a year, we still pay rent/bills, and still have no written lease. She gives us no privacy (we have curtains, no doors, and she just walks in whenever she pleases.) She constantly threatens to kick out my husband or call the cops to remove him if he doesnt leave, for reasons such as not jumping to complete a task she wants done, or if he has spoken out about her behavior as a landlord (usually when she’s completely disregarded our wish for privacy or her simply just not touching our belongings) which leads me to; she takes liberty with our belongings. Decides to walk in, act as if the items in the area are hers to organise or move or handle as she sees fit. For example, I and my family are out of town for the week at my parents house. My mother in law has decided while we were gone she is going to go in our rent paid area, touch and handle our personal belongings at her leisure, and “clean” and “organise” to her own liking. She did not have our permission, and the most common response to our objections is “it’s my house, I can do what I want.” I know not having a written lease removes a few rights as renters but surely she’s crossing a legal line… or something…?

    1. @Amber — If you’re paying rent, your rights are the same whether or not there is a written lease, so tell your mother to either let you live for free and end the tenancy or get out of your area.

  23. My 5 year old daughter and I moved in with my boyfriend at the time. I paid his back rent so he wouldn’t get kicked out. He didn’t have an lease with the landlord. The landlord put the lease in my name. The boyfriend at time became verbal abusive. He hasn’t help pay for anything since before I moved in and he said he would help me as this was an mutual decision to move I to help him. I told him to leave and he left. After the 30 days, he came back and decided he can continue to live here because he is homeless. The verbal abuse is still continuing and he does it in front of my daughter. I told him the other day to leave and get out of the house and he said I be out Friday
    Well, he thinks he is staying still. He feels he doesn’t have to and can continue to stay and not pay for anything. The landlord will not do anything about it to help me. What can I do. I am tired and my daughter is crying everytime he goes at it with me. He thinks he has the right to do what he want and be drunk when he comes home and then say he doesn’t have any where to go and no money. Every time I tell him to leave and be out he is like okay… and still nothing. All my money goes to all the bills. What can I do?

    1. @Stephanie — The cleanest way to handle this is to work with the landlord to have him evicted. If the landlord won’t help, then you could try to get him evicted yourself. Of course, if you feel like he’s going to physically harm you, then you can get a protective order against him.

  24. I allowed a friend of mine to come stay at my house when he was evicted from my friends duplex (she was incarcerated) he was her POA. I told him he could only stay till my husband came home from Tucson in the middle of May. He has stolen all of my friends money and admitted it to me, he changed the storage key lock and took my name off access, he will not produce her expensive jewelry. He called the police because I told him to get out. I was told I had to give him a 30 day eviction notice which I did that day. He has been gone for 2 weeks, came home once to change clothes and left. He won’t come get his mail. How long do I have to put up with him threatening to break into my house if I’m not here?

  25. Me my fiance and daughter have been living with my mother for about a year now we all currently moved to a new home together been here since beginning of February. The issue is my mother and the landlord we are renting from have discussed who will be staying here. That being herself, NBC her husband, my fiance, myself and our daughter. Now she has allowed her other daughter and her bf to stay here. My mother, my fiance, and my sisters BF have all verbally agreed everyone would split rent. She wants my sisters bf to get out because he is very disrespectful to her along with us and my sister, he also has a problem giving her rent when she asks for it and starts a
    Conflict/argument over her asking him for rent. Yes he does pay it but she does not want hin here anymore we also have all verbally agreed to help put twards electric and he has not but once helped with that since hes been here. How would she go about getting him out of here.

  26. My boyfriend of 4 years bought a house two years ago and fixed it up. I moved in soon after him and have sunk a lot of money into it with him. If he decides to kick me out, do I have any legal recourse to recoup any of the money I’ve spent?
    Can I take the appliances I purchased on my credit card? I don’t really want to tear out a dishwasher that won’t need but I don’t know what else to do.
    Heartsick in Harrisonburg

    1. @Elizabeth — Possibly. It depends on the agreement at the time and if the purchases were gifts or something else. Feel free to give my office a call.

    1. @Nationwide – I can’t speak to all US Courts, but both DC and VA will enforce verbal leases as long as there is enough proof that a verbal agreement existed.

    1. @Kristie — Depending on whether the friend has rights as a tenant, you would either give the friend 30 days notice or initiate the eviction proceedings right now. If you’d like to retain my firm for assistance, just give the office a call on Monday: 703.831.7707

  27. Hello, I rent an apartment with my girlfriend of 5 years and she is not on the lease. We have come to terms that this just isn’t going to work out and she refused to leave when i asked. She argues the point of giving her a 30 day notice but I feel she will escalate it further if I do. We had a verbal agreement to go half on all household bills but she hasn’t held up her end for a month or two. I feel that if I give it to her today (11/26/218) she will not pay rent for December and a possibility that she will trash my place. What can I do? What are some different ways to issue a 30 day notice? Also, does the notice have to notarized? Thank you.

    1. @Calvin — You’d have to sue her after she’s out for her 1/2. You may want to consider involving the landlord, but this is a bit more complicate than I can assist with via a response to a blog comment. Feel free to give my office a call.

  28. @Jane – If there is a month to month lease, then yes, you could give 30 days notice and then evict. Feel free to contact my firm if you want to hire an attorney to assist.

  29. We are property owners with a verbal rental agreement with a family member. The family member has a BF, we do not have an agreement with him, however he pays a portion of the rent with an agreement he has made with her. The relationship has gone sour (abusive) and she has given him notice (a generous 60 days I believe) to leave (he is not attempting to make arrangements to leave) can we as property owners step in and assist with getting him out of the property with a 30 day notice?

  30. My ex-boyfriend is not on our lease and has never paid rent/utilities etc. He refuses to leave the home. Can I give him a 30 day eviction notice or does the owner of the property have to be the one to send the notice?

  31. Steven, My soon to be ex-boyfriend both signed a 1 year lease in October 2018, but he HAS NOT PAID his full share of the rent. He just quit his job, i asked him to leave but said that he would not! Can I legally start eviction procedures?

  32. My wife’s 28yr old son lives with us. He’s unemployed and has been for some time. I recently found drug paraphernalia in his room. Do I have the right to immediately evict him or do I still need to go through the court process.

    1. @Glenn — You need to go through the court proceeding or risk the son claiming it was an unlawful eviction but you may be able to avoid the notice prior to filing, which will save you some time.

  33. What if that person left to visit family and never paid rent or help with any bills and refuse to come get their belongings and isn’t on the lease can you put their things out the house after asking them to come get their things. (This person been gone for 2 months and still hasn’t come to get their things)

  34. I have a friend who has only spent 20 days in my apartment. Her name is not on the lease, none of the furniture in the apartment is hers, she didn’t have mail sent to the residence, none of the usual tenant things. She agreed to pay half of my rent/utilities and hasn’t. She had also locked me out of my apartment for 8 hours, from 23:30 to 07:30, knowing that I had to go to work the next morning, I have her a 30 day notice via text that night. Recently she had left my apartment on 8/26 and hasn’t notified me of anything and hasn’t been back to my apartment since. Unresponsive to my texts or calls. Her mother messaged me and asked me what time would be best for her to pick up her belongings because she had found a new living arrangement. But this friend tried to come back at me and tell me that I didn’t give her a 30 day notice and that with her mother asking me what time was best for me that night she messaged me to get her belongings was not an act of her leaving. Now she’s threatening to go to PD about it all. Though she was purely just being a squatter. What can/should I do?

    1. @Bailey — Probably nothing. I don’t think the police will get involved since she voluntarily left the apartment. If things get worse, give my office a call: 703.831.7707

  35. My wife and I are renting a single family home in va beach under an annual signed lease agreement. Her treated former opiate addicted son was evicted from his mobile home. So, wife said he could stay with us until he could get back on his 2 good feet, but i never agreed to or wanted him to stay with us for the past 3 months or even a day. He receives mail here but has never had rent or utilities requirement and is now destroying bedroom he stays in. Both, wife and i want him out due him being a bad person unemployed refusing to work, eating our food, using our washing mach/d and and bringing guests over in middle of the night. Can wife and i evict him thru court 30d or must our landlord. We were not in any type of sublease agreement with son.

    1. @Douglas — If there was never a tenancy (no expectation of compensation or rent or anything else) then you may not have to give him 30 days notice, but that will be a decision for the court. To be safe, you could give him 30 days notice and then start the eviction process.

  36. I have allowed my daughter and her husband to live in my home for 2 years. only my daughter has paid for heat and electricity. they are now separated and filing for a divorce. the son in law told me 6 months ago he was moving out but this had not happened. how can I get him out of my home

    1. @Becky – You should give him 30 days notice and then initiate the eviction process. If you want to hire my firm, we’re happy to help. Just give us a call: 703.831.7707

  37. I rent a home since September. Daughter and grandson live with me. BF has been living with us during that time (and previous 2.5 years at previous residence). BF doesn’t pay anything. My name is the leasee. Daughter and he are listed as occupants. He’s an abusive alcoholic and refuses to leave. What can I do? Scared I’ll lose this house to rent if I involve them. Daughter now refuses to return as well.

    1. @Regina — If he’s abusive, you should get a protective order as that will keep him out of the house and allow you to stay and will not involve the landlord.

  38. My ex boyfriend is my landlord. He does not live with me. I had a 2 year lease that has expired and since it has been an oral agreement of month to month. Since I broke up with him he has threatened to kick me out, threatened to mess up my clearance for work, to ‘f’ing destroy me’ and I am concerned that if I give him 30 days notice, that tensions will erupt even more. I am worried about my pets, my belongings, my potential safety mentally and physically. I have text messages documenting the threats. Do I have sufficient grounds to withhold my moving out or do I still need to give 30 days?

    1. @Jennifer – If you’re really concerned for your safety, you should file for a protective order. Practically speaking, couldn’t he “mess-up” your work and clearance whether you give 30 days or not? Maybe you offer to find a replacement tenant so he doesn’t lose any rent due to a gap in time? You’re not required to do this, but perhaps that will help the situation.

  39. My son and wife are separating. His wife’s cousin lives with them in Virginia and is causing issues (coming between my son and his wife). Can he evict (30 days notice) her cousin since she does not have a lease nor is on the mortgage or will there be issues if the wife does not agree? His wife is stating that she needs until August to move out of the marital home. My son is assuming she thinks her cousin is going to remain with her while she does.

  40. I’ve taken care of an autistic sister for 20+ years. She is a confirmed paraniod schizophrenic. Her mental health is having devastating affects on my life. Bringing me into her depression. I can’t take the screaming..the constant insults..I get no peace in my home. I work 70 hrs a week to provide for us but now the constant exhaustion is threatening my job and my health. How can I get her removed from my home? She was committed for several weeks but they brought her back to my house as no other family will take her. But I just cant do this anymore.

  41. I have been living in my mothers home for the last 10 years my mother recently came back to her home from a nursing facility she suffers from dementia she has 24 hour nursing care my sister has power of attorney I have been demanded to move out all of my belongings are still in the house is this legal

  42. My mother-in-law came to live with us in September 2017, after being discharged from a hospital in NC. We thought this would be a temporary solution until her health improves. She doesn’t get along with us and doesn’t like children (we have a 3 and 4 year olds). I have been bathing her, preparing her meals, etc. Her health continues to diminish and she does not engage in her in home physical therapy. We have expressed that she needs to enter into an assisted living facility and she has emphatically stated that she does not want to be here in our home, but refuses to do anything to leave. It’s time for her to leave. What can we do?

  43. I moved into a rental home over a year ago with husband and son then trying to do the nice thing to help out my brother we let him move in with us, recently we found out that he did not sign the lease. The whole time my brother has never paid rent any of the utilities or any of the bills that he is responsible for that we agreed upon before moving in, and by doing so he has put a major financial strain on my family. I just renewed the lease then notified my brother he needed to find somewhere else to stay and gave have him 30 days. My brother did move out but has left quite a lot of his belongings behind a long with a mess. It has been well over 30 days since he has moved out I have notified him numerous times to clean out the room and pick up his belongings to no avail.
    Is there any way to get the rent and utilities my brother did not pay even though he is not on the lease when he told me he did and he was supposed to sign it to stay in the house and what can I do with his belongings?

    1. @Stephanie — You can sue your brother from the unpaid rent and utilities, but you’re going to have to prove that there was an agreement between the two of you that he would pay a particular amount or percentage (emails, text messages, other witnesses, etc.)

  44. I have just take over an apt me and my husband are on the lease.his cousin left on the 1st of Feb and never paid his rent left his things we told him he had an eviction notice he never contacted the landlord and we have told him to come get his things with no response.we finally spoke with him and he is not wanting to do anything he thinks this is still his apt. The landlord told is that it was to our discretion as far as the furniture and other belonging that was left here. What do we do or is where he left told all his cloths and never came back and never paid rent is that considered abandonment.

    1. @Holli — Whether items are abandoned really depends on the facts and communications between the parties. It’s tough for me to tell you for sure, but certainly possible.

  45. My boyfriend and I have been staying with my mom since October along with our daughter and she wants us to leave. We are not on the lease either. She said she is going to court and telling then we don’t pay rent but she has not asked me for any money. What can I do?

  46. My son 24 years old won’t move out, he lives in the garage and I can’t go in there anymore. He blocks the driveway so that I have to park on the grass. He trashes the house and the bathroom, he does weird stuff like wear a mask, won’t go to work, etc……He has taken some of my property…..I don’t want to call the police on him, but I want him out…

    1. @David – You can evict him without calling the police. You have to give notice and then proceed through the courts. If you’re in the northern VA area generally and decide to hire a lawyer, feel free to call my office.

  47. My friend of 17 years said my handicaped daughter and I could rent a room at her house while she was out of the country. She left behind her boyfriend that was living in another part of the house. She had been telling me for a few years that she wanted him to move out, but didn’t know how to get rid of him. So, while she’s been out of the country, her boyfriend would come in the kitchen while I was cooking, and would start calling my name. I wouldn’t respond. He would also brush agents me as I washed the dishes, and also while I was cooking he would be on the phone with her face to face but for some reason she would be looking at me while his phone sat on his shoulder. I felt uncomfortable when he would reach over me answering her on the phone saying, no, I don’t see it. But then would start to make oatmeal and hot dogs for dinner. It seemed like every thing I did, he would be reporting it back to her all the way to the Virgin islands. Once she called me and said that I wasn’t allowed to have any overnight visitors. My grandson had spent the night because my daughter had to work and my grandson didn’t have school because of Martin Luther King day. So I just told her I was just going to move out because I was uncomfortable with her man there anyway. Ever since then her mom came in my room and took the cable box and disconnected the internet before the month of January was over. And yes. I paid my 600.00 for that month. So when the first of February came. I started moving out. After the second load, I called her mom, trying to keep peace. Told her that I have more things to get and cleaning up to do as well, but her mom said, she threw my stuff in the trash because I stole the shower head in the bathroom. No it was mine. I bought it for my daughter to get her clean because she’s 35 years old, and I have been using the same shower head for years. Now my so called friend, wrote me a note saying I had till the 11th to get out. I know it’s not legal for her to just write letters without a court document. But was she allowed to have her mom change the locks to prevent me from getting the rest of my stuff?

    1. @Shirley — You are correct that a landlord may not change the locks or limit utilities without a court order. Depending on the amount of damages, you may want to bring a claim against your landlord for the costs you incurred, loss of property, and potentially attorneys’ fees. If you’re in the northern VA area generally, give my office a call if you decide to hire an attorney.

  48. My father in law is going through the process with his common law wife from another state which virginia is recognizing in court, but is now pulling shady dealings to get everything she can andeave him with nothing. He stays in the house the bought in virginia but his name isnt on the lease nor on the loan, what is the worst case scenario for eviction if he loses his case on how long he has before bring evicted from home?

  49. @Lisa — If your mom doesn’t agree and BF isn’t the landlord, the BF can try to evict you, but I don’t think he’ll be successful and all evictions must go through the court system.

  50. My mom and her boyfriend just got a new place that they are renting. I was currently living with my step dad but since I had my baby 4 months ago I am having to live with her and I also have a 7 year old son. My moms bf went and filed an evicted noticed bc out of nowhere he told me I needed to start paying him $300 a month when there was no agreement for me to pay anything to live with them. My mom is not agreeing to this and is the other holder on the lease. He is the only one that signed the eviction notice. It is freezing outside, I have no job right now and he wants me to give me the only income I get from the state to get necessities for my kids until child support goes through. Is there anything I can do to stop this from happening being he’s not the landlord and my mom isn’t agree to the eviction?

  51. I currently live with my friend in Richmond, Virginia. Her apartment complex is operated by the RRHA Richmond Development Housing Authority…. Although my name is not on the lease, I work and still give her money every month. All my mail is her address including the cable bill only in my name there. Her AND her sisters through my stuff out the door because I complained they smoke marijuana.. . And she had the only key. I’m forced to sleep outside in the truck or our back steps. Is that legal? I have been living their for two years…

    1. @William — Probably not. You may have a claim against them for an unlawful ouster or an improper eviction as people cannot use self-help to get someone out of their property.

    2. I am kind of in the situation you were in last year, and also in Richmond, Va. My ex has his apt through RRHA as well. Ive basically been the one paying rent here for the past year and a half, along with electricity. The past year he has been bouncing around jobs and hasn’t been able to hold one down for a period of time. Anyways, he wrote me an eviction letter 2 months ago, I signed it, and left on the date the letter stated; only taking enough clothes for about a week or two. I honestly didn’t have anywhere to go that I could afford, so I ended up sleeping in my car for 2 nights, got a hotel another 2 nights, and stayed with a neighbor the other nights. I was tired of fighting. About a week later, we talked and decide to try again. I brought my clothes back that I had taken and put my belongings back where they went. Now we are back at it! He thinks the eviction is still in effect. I forgot to mention before, I didn’t easily agree to signing his eviction. I felt threatened to do so. My mom was here when he demanded that I sign them, and can attest to his behavior. There has been physical abuse in our relationship once, and it wasn’t to long ago. He was so drunk that he got mad and punched me in the eye twice. Ive now got a scar there. I go through verbal and mental abuse at minimum 2 days a week. He suffers from severe bi-polar, anxiety, and PTSD. I get mail here as well, and have for several years. He claims since one of the office ladies is an old family friend, that if I call the police on this matter, that she will lie and say that I never moved back in. Which therefor would make his so called lease still valid. So tonight I got kicked out. He threw a basket full of my clothes in the dumpster tonight as well. I had to come back here and dig them out of the dumpster at 3am. I’m to my wits end, but I just got a new job, one in which I should be able to get and afford my own one bedroom apartment. But I need time to get my deposit saved up. He can’t just kick me out again can he? Some how my mom managed to call and convince him to let me sleep on the couch tonight. But ever since he let me back in at 345 am, he has done nothing but knit pick about having a light on and calling me all sorts of derogatory names. Does anyone have any suggestions on my rights in this situation? I apologize for going into such detail. There are just a lot of layers to issue.

    1. @Todd — if they are on the lease, you may not be able to remove them. Perhaps the Landlord could, but I’m not sure you have that ability. You could certainly sue them for their share of the bills if there was an agreement that they’d pay.

  52. So once the written 30 days have been given and the unwanted guest hasn’t left, how do you go about evicting – where do I go to get this in VA, specifically, in Woodbridge, etc? Who in VA handles these matters? What if the guest becomes violent at any point and damages your things, then what and how is property divided? (It’s a man and his unstable girlfriend.) Finally, where do you go to for a restraining order if you feel you need one? Thank you!!

    1. @Nicole — You have to file a summons for unlawful detainer. You can get a copy from the clerk’s office or you may contact my firm and I’d be happy to help. If the guest become violent then you could file for a protective order — also at the clerk’s office.

  53. My wife and I are renting a house. We let her cousin move in with us about a year ago. He pays no bills and his name is on nothing. He is not helping, only breaking our family apart. My wife and I want him out now. What steps to we have to take? We are located in Virginia. Do we need to get our landlord involved? Thank you, Mike

    1. @Mike — It would be easiest if your landlord was involved, but if not, you and your wife may evict your cousin — it may just take longer. Feel free to call my firm if we may be helpful.

  54. I have a younger brother who is staying in my vacation home (which I rarely visit). There was no written agreement established when I allowed him in the home 3 years ago. I have provided funds periodically over this period for food/sustenance in exchange for him performing caretaker duties (lawn mowing, basic upkeep, etc.), during his stay. I have also taken care of costs associated with a DUI conviction (court, license renewal process, his vehicle upkeep, insurance, etc.), during this period. He is unemployed and does odd jobs for residents within the community for additional funds. I see no end to his current status and he has no motivation to improve the situation and move forward on his own. Essentially, he will be homeless when he has to leave. I have recently retired and no longer have funds available to sustain him. Additionally, I need to sell the vacation home that he is living in in order to be able to complete my final move from my current home that I live in. Aside from providing a verbal notification, what is the recommended formal notification process I should use to complete this process of getting him and his personal belongings out of the home? The state is Virginia. Many thanks in advance for your assistance.

    1. @Lynn — You have to give him a written 30 day notice that the lease/tenancy is ending. If he doesn’t leave in 30 days then you are able to start the eviction process with the courts. Feel free to call my office if you’d like us to handle the eviction for you. –Steven

  55. I am currently living in an apartment and have been living with my current roommate for 1.5 years. She is now asking me to leave even though we split all bills and rent I am just not on the lease. How much time does she have to give me if any? Also being that I am considered a roommate and not a guest how much legal standing does she have? I have established this as my legal dwelling and receive mail here, cam she really give me a sheet of paper with a date on it?

      1. My fiance myself and children have been living with his mother for almost 2 years, splitting all Bill’s equally, as well as doing work on the house but not on the lease.
        She is now saying that we have 30 days to move. Do I have the right to not pay with such a short notice giving the fact that I have a 3 month old child and such a short time to find another place to rent? Or can I pay the 25% of the rent?

  56. Hello:

    We have a family member who has moved into a vacant house. The house is owned by my aunt, and I’m helping my aunt with her affairs as she has moved into an assisted living center. (we have conservatorship over her affairs). There is no lease no rent, no agreement. He is trespassing. We need to sell the house to help pay for the assisted living center fees. Do we use the typical “landlord eviction process” that is commonly used (5-day quit notice, then court dispossession, then sheriff to evict)

  57. I have a question Im renting my house and me and my three kids are on the lease only. I let my boyfriend move in but he is not on the lease, we always agruing and don’t get along, so I ask him to leave but he threatening to bust all the windows and telling me we all going to be homeless if I get him put out. Me and my kids went through enough. He work everyday but don’t help out. Please I’m tired of this what should I do???

    1. @Kristal — You should talk with your landlord and see if they are willing to assist in the eviction. If you feel like your health or safety is at risk you can file a protective order and/or call the police.

  58. I would like to evict my girlfriend 16 yr old son. I know to get rid of him I can evict her. I do know she cannot support herself. That bothers me but it’s getting worse and I have to think of my career first. His father don’t want him. The last person who took care of him, abandoned him with us last year. Its harsh but I’m not afraid to evict my girlfriend to get rid of him. My Girlfriend not on any of my bills or lease to my home. Only agreement asking her to takes care her personal bills. Like her cell phone. Im willing to go through small courts but I’m having trouble finding right paperwork. I have my career to think of first.

  59. My girlfriends father wants to evict us. I paid him the majority of the monthly rent, and half all the utilities. He was pocketing the money and not paying what the money was for. So things got heated and he says I have to be out in 7 days… Legal?

    1. @Katrina — If the former BF is violent and you legitimately fear for your safety you cuold file for a temp protective order, but only the mom could evict him as it’s her property.

  60. The above article is quite useful. I have become highly satisfied with this above article. If you really want to get a stress free eviction process, then it would be good to take the helping hand of any professional, who can give satisfactory assistance for evicting your tenant. The service of this well-known organization is quite noticeable regarding this aspect. I took their helping hand for the eviction procedure and really became highly satisfied with their services.

    1. My SON is 34 years old still live with me with all giving me so much stress I’m 65 years old working as a caregiver just to survived, can I file a eviction against my SON, by the way now he is filing a domestic violence against and I don’t know why

    2. I live in Calif. I own my own home. I have a boyfriend that has been living here over a year. I have asked him to move but there is excuse after excuse. How do I get him out of here? Thanks

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About the Author

Steven Krieger and guests (lawyers and non-lawyers) will periodically post about topics relevant to his firm and practice areas. Your comments and feedback are always welcome. 

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