Many people who are too generous have had indecent relatives or friends who come to visit and do not want to leave. They use your kindness as a weakness and push their stay too far and you cannot get them out of your home. When the time limit crosses your patience limit, that’s when the hospitality begins to die down and the stay becomes a threat to our personal space, peace and living. It is important for the host as well as the guest to know the limits of a stay and maintain the dignity of their relationship. Before you embark on a house guest situation, You should really ask yourself. . . Is this Temporary? If so, what is the expiration date? Will you enjoy their company? Is this beneficial to me mentally and/or physically? Do you even like this person? Etc. Etc.
So, you have opened your home to a friend who needs a place to stay and your friend generously offers to give you some rent money to defray expenses. Great, you think. This will make life a bit easier!! Not so fast. . . If you accept money in exchange for allowing a person to stay with you, that person may be considered your Tenant (entitled to eviction protection) under state law. Allowing a person to receive mail at your address may also be evidence that he or she is a Tenant. . . bite on that for a minute! Make sure you understand the laws in your state so that you do not inadvertently allow someone to become your tenant. Evicting a tenant is more complicated than getting rid of a house guest. Just last week, I was up front and center into “houseguest gone rogue” when I accompanied my Cousin to the County Courthouse on this matter. This trip was more than an adventure, it was an education. In order to impart this little knowledge, here is the backstory. . .
My loving and so very friendly Cousin
invited (her daughter invited) a friend to visit over two years ago and he refuses to leave, because he is quite happy with the no expense Floridian lifestyle. He does not pay for room and board and lives in the spare room of her condo with all the amenities. Mind you, he has been asked several times to leave. His response was always, soon. Now, neither mother nor daughter want him around. In one of those angry conversations, he recently advised them that he “gets his mail there, and he will leave when he is ready and they cannot throw him out“. Now, the boy is getting rude! Those were dangerous words to my Cousin’s ears who has been deaf and blind all this time to the shenanigans. Yes. . “the light bulb just turned on”. So, she called the Police and was advised that her only remedy was to file a civil summons at the courthouse. She then called me several times, pleading for my assistance before I decided to accompany her last Monday. We spent the entire afternoon at the Courthouse. Here are my findings:Technically, in most situations a house guest who remains after being asked to leave is Trespassing. How can you get rid of such a person? First, make sure that the trespasser knows that he or she is no longer welcome. It can be difficult to tell friends and relatives that you want them to leave. But, if you have previously given the person permission to stay at your house, and not made it explicit that you want the person to leave, he or she may not be violating any laws. If you have made it crystal clear that a guest is not welcome, but the guest continues to stay, call the police and report the person for trespassing. However, you may find that the police are not as helpful as you would hope. So your guest has now committed a crime and getting rid of a trespassing houseguest can be quite challenging. When we went to file a civil complaint at the Court, we were told that my Cuz had to file for an EJECTMENT.
- An Ejectment is when the court orders the sheriff to physically remove someone from a property and to lock them out. That is usually the remedy if someone is a squatter or trespasser, rather than a tenant who has overstayed their lease. Once they are removed from the premises you can also bring a claim for civil trespass to recover for any damage that was caused by the unwelcome intruder. To state a successful claim for civil trespass, you will have to show:
(1) your lawful possession or right to the property;
(2) defendant’s wrongful act of trespass on the property; and
(3) damages caused by the trespass.
This course of action does have some risks. The guest has to be served by the Police, and who knows when that will happen; and they are given time to respond to your claim by the court. Also, they could assert that you wrongfully ousted them and may seek damages to their belongings if they go missing or destroyed, when you tried to put them out of the house. You must protect yourself and know your rights, before you ask your Brother & his rowdy friends to come throw him/her out. Then, you have to be sure that the civil summons is completed correctly and you have the cash to pay the fees for this service. The courthouse clerks only speak dollars and cents, and will not accept your check or credit cards for most filings. If you are not sure of your ability to comply, and want to recover expenses or damages from the defendant you must hire an Attorney.My Cuz could not get another day off from work until next month, and was surprised at the delays she would encounter, if she did not “piss or get off the pot”. After all, she was already 2 years late. With my previous experience as a law firm employee and the fact that I did a successful Tenant eviction a few years ago, I decided to offer my assistance and she wanted it done. So, she paid for the forms, we went to the Law Library and completed the seven pages necessary. Then, she needed the services of a notary, so we found one at the Bail Bonds office and she was on her way to file the completed Summons.
Five hundred and forty dollars later, she finally admitted she was so wrong in allowing this fool to stay at her house, and will never go thru this again. Thanks be to God! We are all hoping that the procedure moves quickly and effectively and she can get this asshole out of her house and out of her life. The moral to this story. . . be careful of family/friends who you invite into your Life & your Home, and keep your damn eyes and ears open!!
DISCLAIMER: I am not a Psychologist, Counselor, Physician, Attorney or medical health professional. It is not my intention to offer Attorney/Law counselor advice and urge you to consult the professionals who excel in their field of expertise.