Question from AJ, Can I Legally Evict My Adult Child Living at Home in the USA?
Answer from AI:
In the United States, adult children living at home are often considered tenants, even if they do not pay rent. This means that you cannot simply move their belongings into storage and change the locks without potentially facing legal consequences. Instead, you may need to go through a formal eviction process.
Understanding the Legal Status of Your Adult Child
In many states, an adult child living at home, especially if they have been there for an extended period, is considered a tenant at will or a month-to-month tenant. This is true even if there is no written lease agreement and regardless of whether they contribute to household expenses.
Evicting an Adult Child
If you want your adult child to move out, you will likely need to follow your state’s legal eviction process. This typically involves:
- Serving a written notice to quit or pay rent. This notice should specify the amount of rent you are asking for and give a deadline by which they must pay or leave.
- If they do not comply with the notice, you can file an eviction lawsuit with your local court.
- If the court rules in your favor, a law enforcement officer will enforce the eviction.
It’s important to note that you should not attempt to forcibly remove your child or change the locks without a court order. This could be considered an illegal eviction, which could result in legal penalties for you.
Consulting with a Legal Professional
Evicting a family member can be a complex and emotionally charged process. It’s recommended that you consult with a legal professional to understand your rights and responsibilities. They can guide you through the eviction process and ensure that you are acting within the law.
Before resorting to eviction, you might consider other solutions. For example, you could draft a formal lease agreement that outlines your expectations regarding rent and household responsibilities. Mediation or family counseling might also help resolve the issue.
Remember, this information is a general guide and may not apply to your specific situation. Laws vary by state, so it’s important to consult with a legal professional in your area for personalized advice. You can find more information about landlord-tenant laws in your state on the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s website.