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.

how to evict a family member

How Do I Know When to Evict a Family Member?

You’re Not Getting 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.

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.

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).

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 Do I Start 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 Do I Legally Evict a Family Member?

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 and (Hopefully) Still Keep the Peace

Now you know some of the situations where it may be necessary to evict a family member, how to go about having that talk, and how to evict someone. 

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!