Evicting a tenant is hard enough. Evicting a family member can be downright agonizing.

There’s no guarantee the situation will turn out well, but there are ways to approach the process to give you a better chance of avoiding conflict and staying out of a courtroom.

In this article, we’ll discuss the reasons to consider evicting a family member, how to start that conversation, and—should things get this far—the legal process of removing a tenant.

Top 5 Reasons to Evict a Family Member

1. Your Relative or Family Member is Not Paying Rent

This is the most common reason to evict any tenant. The two of you agreed on a monthly amount and, for some reason, your family member is failing to come up with the cash. Most courts and judges won’t allow a person to remain in a rental if they’re not paying.

2. Your Relative or Family Member is Violating the Lease Agreement

If the family member is violating terms of a lease agreement, such as subletting without permission, keeping unauthorized pets, or causing damage to the property, eviction might be necessary to uphold the terms of the lease.

3. You Have Health or Safety Concerns

You may need to evict your relative if there is a health or safety violation on the property such as asbestos, mold, or lead hazards. Typically, in these situations, the problem cannot be fixed with someone living on the property. You may also have to help your family member relocate.

4. You Need to Move into the Home

Perhaps your living situation has changed and you need a place to stay. Different rules will apply for this type of eviction in each state, including whether children or disabled people are involved. You might also have to help your relative move or offer them a different rental (if it’s available).

5. You Need to Sell the Property

Maybe you’ve run into a debt issue and need to sell the home to pay a creditor, so you’re taking it off the rental market. These eviction rules also vary by state. You may be required to live in the home for a certain amount of time. Helping your family member relocate will likely be a requirement.

How to Tell Someone to Move Out Nicely: Starting a Conversation to Evict a Family Member

Even if you have a good relationship with your relative, talking about eviction is going to be tough. 

First, you need to prepare. Define your purpose, identify your wants and needs, and picture your ideal outcome. You should mutually agree on a time and a place for the conversation where you’re both comfortable and can communicate clearly. You can practice self-soothing techniques like mindfulness and deep breathing ahead of time in case you need to use them in the moment. 

You must approach the conversation with openness and an interest in problem-solving. Speak directly to your family member and remain at eye level. Talk in a matter-of-fact tone and keep your emotions in check so your message gets through. Listen to what they have to say—and stay on topic.

In the end, you should politely ask your relative to leave, tell them why, and explain how long they have to stay. They might surprise you and agree to vacate without any conflict at all.

How to Get Someone Out of Your House Legally: Evicting a Family Member with No Lease

However, if your relative refuses to leave and there’s no lease, or the lease is up, you can serve them with an  eviction notice. If they still don’t comply, the next stop for the two of you is court. 

If the judge sides with you, your family member will be given an amount of time to leave. If they remain on your property, you can call law enforcement to remove them. Of course, laws are different in each state, but, in general, this is how the eviction process goes.

A word of caution: Do not accept rent from your relative if you’re trying to evict them. That will strengthen their right to stay longer. For example, if they have a 30-day notice to move out, that time period may reset each time you accept payment, depending on your state’s laws.

How to Evict a Family Member Who Doesn’t Pay Rent: Following the Legal Process 

Evicting a family member who doesn't pay rent is a difficult and sensitive situation that requires careful consideration and adherence to legal processes. While it's challenging to take such action against a loved one, sometimes it becomes necessary to maintain financial stability and uphold household responsibilities. Here are steps to guide you through the eviction process:

Step 1: Review Local Laws and Regulations

Before taking any action, familiarize yourself with the landlord-tenant laws and regulations in your area. These laws vary by location and dictate the legal process for eviction, including notice requirements and timelines.

Step 2: Communicate Clearly

Start by having an open and honest conversation with the family member about their failure to pay rent. Clearly express your concerns and expectations, and give them an opportunity to address the issue.

Step 3: Serve a Formal Notice

If the family member continues to neglect their rent obligations after your discussion, serve them with a formal notice to pay rent or vacate the premises. The notice should include the amount owed, the deadline for payment, and the consequences of non-compliance.

Step 4: Document Everything

Keep detailed records of all communication and interactions related to the eviction process, including copies of the notice served, receipts for rent payments, and any relevant correspondence.

Step 5: File for Eviction

If the family member fails to comply with the notice and does not pay the rent owed or vacate the property by the deadline, you may need to file for eviction with the appropriate court. Follow the legal procedures outlined in your local jurisdiction and ensure all paperwork is completed accurately and filed within the specified timeframe.

Step 6: Attend Court Hearings

Attend any court hearings scheduled as part of the eviction process. Present your case clearly and provide any supporting evidence, such as documentation of non-payment of rent or lease agreements.

Step 7: Enforce the Eviction Order

If the court rules in your favor and grants an eviction order, follow through with the necessary steps to enforce it. This may involve working with law enforcement to remove your family member from the property if they refuse to leave voluntarily.

Step 8: Seek Legal Advice if Necessary

If you encounter any complexities or challenges during the eviction process, don't hesitate to seek legal advice from a qualified attorney specializing in landlord-tenant law. They can provide guidance and representation to ensure your rights are protected.

How to Write an Eviction Notice to a Family Member

The reasons you may want to evict your relative could be non-payment of rent, health or safety concerns, a change in your living situation, the need to sell, or other circumstances.

If you are looking to sell your home after your family member moves out, a cash buyer like New Again Houses® can purchase your property for a fast and fair cash offer. Contact us today!

Matt Lavinder & Sam Ferguson

Matt Lavinder founded New Again Houses in 2007 and has been rehabbing properties ever since! He enjoys finding creative solutions to real estate problems and transforming distressed houses into great homes. Sam Ferguson was deeply involved with non-profit organizations before joining New Again Houses as the Vice President, and Owner/COO of New Again Franchising. They have achieved outstanding accomplishments and involvement in their local community before creating the New Again Houses franchise model they are passionate about spreading nationally.