How Do Parents Evict Their Adult Children?

After allowing their son to live in their home for over eight years, parents Christina and Mark Rotondo resorted to legal action after a series of notes to their son Michael failed to get him moving.

2 February 2018

Michael,

After a discussion with your Mother, we have decided you must leave this house immediately. You have 14 days to vacate. You will not be allowed to return. We will take whatever actions are necessary to enforce this decision.

Mark and Christina Rotondo

Image Source: huffingtonpost.com

When he was in his early 20s, Michael Rotondo briefly lived on his own, but he moved back in with his parents after losing a job. According to the son, in the eight years he has lived at his parents’ house, he “has never been expected to contribute to household expenses, or assisted with chores and the maintenance of the premises,” and that those conditions are simply part of an informal agreement.

1) Organize the things you need for work and to manage an apartment. Note: You will need stuff at [redacted]. You must arrange the date and time through your Father so he can set it up with the tenant.

2) Sell the other things you have that have any significant value, (e.g. stereo, some tools etc.). This is especially true for any weapons you may have. You need the money and will have no place for the stuff.

3) There are jobs available even for those with a poor work history like you. Get one — you have to work!

4) If you want help finding a place your Mother has offered to help you.

In New York, because Michael is a family member, they can only have him removed from the home through an ejectment proceeding. The son argued that there was a common law requirement of six-month notice to quit before he could be removed through an ejectment action. However, the Judge informed the son that newer cases favored the parents, and ordered him to leave his parents’ home.

How to Legally Remove Adult Children from a Parent’s Home

If discussion, negotiation, bribing and pleading don’t work, then the parent has legal remedies. The remedy, as always, depends on the circumstances and the state, as states have their own laws on eviction, ejectment, and trespassing.

Did you invite the adult child to live with you?

Have your adult children ever paid rent?

Is there any type of written agreement?

Have you notified your child in writing that you want them to vacate your home?

Trespassing

In California and many other states, if you initially welcomed an adult child to live in your home and never asked him or her to pay rent, then he or she is a guest. If the welcome has worn out, you can demand that he leave. If your child refuses to leave then he has become a trespasser.

You can call the police to have trespassers forcibly removed, although there is no guarantee the police will agree to remove them, especially if there are signs of long-term residence or the parents’ invitation. Alternatively, some parents change the locks when their adult child is out, but it’s best to consult with an attorney before resorting to this. Once out, the adult child has no valid legal remedy to re-enter the house without your permission.

In another scenario, an adult child is also a trespasser if the parent never invited them to live in the home. A parent can then file a legal action called a forcible retainer. A parent must allege that they were in actual possession of their home at the time the adult child entered and the parent did not consent to it. The child would file a response with the court within just a few days or face eviction.

There is always the small possibility, of course, that an adult child may sue a parent who pursues this course of action.

Eviction

Generally, eviction is only for tenancies, which are formed if the adult child has paid some rent in the past. If a tenancy exists, the parent should have the adult child personally served with a 30-day notice to quit. The parent should also NOT accept any rent after this notice to quit is served. If the 30-day period has expired and the adult child has STILL not left, then the parent must file an unlawful detainer aka eviction proceeding.

An attorney who specializes in evictions should usually be consulted, since properly instituting an unlawful detainer proceedings requires many technical requirements.

Ejectment

Some states like Florida and New York have what is called an ejectment action, which is a broader lawsuit than a landlord-tenant eviction. Ejectment is basically eviction for non-tenants, such as temporary guests or adult children who have never been asked to pay rent. Ejectment actions are more complex and formal than evictions, so it’s recommended to consult an attorney.

Restrictions on Removing Adult Children

Even within states, cities can have their own laws on eviction. For example, in San Francisco you cannot evict a family member with a child under the age of 18 unless the eviction occurs during the summer.

What do you think? Would you ever evict your own child? Should it be easier or harder to evict a family member?

27 comments on “How Do Parents Evict Their Adult Children?

  1. Avatar for Mary Mock mmock
    Rev. Roland Sims on

    My son turned 18 years old. all he does is get high smoke weed won’t get a job walk clean up his room won’t take out the trash the boy just doesn’t do nothing but he will tell you in a heartbeat that he’s grown I live in California how do I get him out of my home????

    Reply
  2. Avatar for Mary Mock mmock
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    Ray Cisneros on

    It should definitely be easier to evict a adult child and a faster process. Many parents try to help their adult child only to be taken advantage of and in some cases matters can worsen and even become hostile in your own home. It is a common problem that needs more attention by the courts.

    Reply
    • Avatar for Mary Mock mmock
      Russ on

      My 19 year old daughter doesn’t pay rent and repeatedly slams and destroys stuff in our house. She will not help with any household chores and repeatedly steals and uses our stuff. We had given her an I phone for Christmas done 7 years or so ago and is still on our plan. Any hint of punishing her by turning it off results in our house or properties brunting her wrath. Police have been called to which we get the , you need a counselor speech. This is way beyond counseling and is absolutely no good for all parties involved. PLEASE HELP. I don’t know what my options are and am tired of being threatened with HER PEOPLE

      Reply
      • Avatar for Mary Mock mmock
        Jeanne on

        Russ, I am in a similar situation except it’s my grandson that is doing the destruction. (My daughter and grandchildren live with me) I am thinking of hiring an eviction lawyer as I am done with having my property destroyed. Did you by any chance get a helpful response from your post.

        Reply
        • Avatar for Mary Mock mmock
          Candace on

          I need to have my 34 year old son removed from my parents home has lived there all his life have asked for rent bill money chores etc.
          He has worn out his stay has even been so bold to enter our bedroom and take whatever he wants.we reside in milw wi what is the legal action I need to take I have sent him as well as spoke to him in regards to this manner am at witts end.

          Reply
      • Avatar for Mary Mock mmock
        Pauline Underhill on

        I totally understand your situation. My daughter has had two major surgeries for cancer and my granddaughter thinks it’s a cake walk.
        She acts exactly the same as what you have stated above. Does not help her sick mother with anything and is 24 years old!
        The police have told us it takes a formal eviction which includes Court costs! Like stage 4 cancer can afford anything else.

        Reply
    • Avatar for Mary Mock mmock
      Joellen matteson on

      I have a 31-year-old that will not leave I got him a car so he can leave he won’t get his license he doesn’t pay rent he doesn’t pay any bills he pays for his own food he will not leave his hostile alcoholic and bipolar schizo he harasses me all through the house I need help I’m in a rental I don’t want to lose my place He literally harasses me and scares off anybody I bring home my friends and family can’t even visit me he brings Come on my house and I told alcohol is not allowed and he still does it and when I go to ask him to take it out of the hone he gets really crazy on me

      Reply
  4. Avatar for Mary Mock mmock
    Kris on

    I have a 28 year old daughter that is accusing me of stealing form her because I charge her $100 a week for her and her daughter to live in my home. She does absolutely nothing to help and does not even care for her daughter while in my home. I am over it but do not know what to do as I do not want anything to happen to my grand daughter. Any suggestions would be helpful I am at my witz end and the drama has to stop.

    Reply
    • Avatar for Mary Mock mmock
      Kathy on

      Kris, I have the same problem, and my daughter doesn’t even pay rent, she occasionally pays half the utilities. She is verbally abusive, scares the baby, and I’m sure she never plans to leave. I can’t take it anymore. It’s driving me crazy. Let me know if you found a solution.

      Reply
    • Avatar for Mary Mock mmock
      Michael Howard on

      I can understand your plight 100%. My daughter and son-in-law refuse to pay me $800 in rent and half of the agreed utilities. Roughly $1000.00 a month. They have four children together and rarely provide adequate supervision of the children. They smoke weed throughout the day and state they work doing Door dash and his SSI. They can’t pay me anything but are always ordering food to the house. This is a social issue with our children. She even had the nerve to tell me that I had to take care of her since I helped create her.

      Reply
  5. Avatar for Mary Mock mmock
    TRACYa PARK on

    I have ac21 year old that has never been out he doesn’t listen yells at me won’t contribute and doesn’t help I’ve ask him numerous times to leave even called cops once

    Reply
  6. Avatar for Mary Mock mmock
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    Lisa on

    I have 2 son I evicted 6 months ago, on July 4th they both showed up and we BBQ, . It’s now 3 months later there still here. I told them to get out of my house, they pay for nothing, not even there food , because they dont have jobs and they dont care to get one. I’m on set income, I want them gone, everything is being messed up again. So there fourth it should be easy if they was not ask are told they could stay. They pay nothing, my house hold Bill’s are way back up again.

    Reply
    • Avatar for Mary Mock mmock
      Jorge on

      I have a 27 yo daughter who has lived with me since my granddaughters birth. She pays no rent groceries utilities car payment or insurances. I pay for my granddaughter’s preschool clothes food. My wife and I are more like her parents while my daughter who occasionally works buys pot sleeps around trashes her room and is extremely disrespectful. If it was just her I would have kicked her out a long time ago. I worry and love my granddaughter greatly and worry about her future.

      Reply
  8. Avatar for Mary Mock mmock
    Susan on

    I have a 26 year old son That has never left our home. Never paid any sort of rent or contribute to the food or other expenses. He doesn’t buy any of his own necessities. He has robbed us, hawked thousands of dollars of our personal items to support his drug addictions. He has been asked to move out dozens of times and does nothing. We have never taken legal action against the theft, maybe we should? What recourse do I have to get him out of our home?

    Reply
  9. Avatar for Mary Mock mmock
    Connie Canada on

    Live in Oklahoma. Sept 2017 I did allow my son & wife & 2 kids to move in to establish residence here from Texas with oral agreement they would be finding jobs and move out given at least 1 year. My husband died dec 2017. No rent or money expected so they could save for house of their own & work on their credit rating. Son is 40 kids are 11 & 8. He intermittently pays on pickup I financed, I paid credit card bills for him, pawnshop charges, food, gas, & school tuition for my son. My operating income is 1/2 what was coming in before husband died & I retired. They have become increasingly hostile with me claiming I won’t cooperate with them. Daughter-in-law did get job about 8 mts to buy their groceries. They don’t want to share food with me. I spend my time in my room or in my shop because it’s so uncomfortable for me in my house. Because of my emotional state i unintentionally let them take over my home so my grandkids could be comfortable. Now it’s Mar 2020 they have verbally/emotionally attacked me & threatened to have me committed to nursing home. Cant talk to resolve anything so I wrote my own eviction notice giving them 60 days because of financial struggles. How do I proceed? What else do I do?

    Reply
  10. Avatar for Mary Mock mmock
    Michelle Reswick on

    My 30 year old daughter and her two yearn old mived in with us because she was not getting along with the father of the child who she had been living with. She has mental problems and is very moody and irritable and she calls me names and curses at me and tries to run the house and lay down the law in the house. She refuses to help with chores. She pays no rent and sucks us dry for money. Today she threw some of my belongoings in the garbage because she wants to free up space for her belongings. I cannot have a reasonable conversation with her. I want her out but what about the two year old??? This is an awful situation!

    Reply
  11. Avatar for Mary Mock mmock
    Faye on

    I have a 28 year old son that is mentally abusing myself and his father. You try to have a conversation about what his goals are and we are called nasty nasty names, he jumps and his dad’s face calling him a MF. I am losing control of my home that we pay the Bill’s for because of my son treating us like he is our father. I am to my breaking point. Going to try and get him out. We have done everything so he could successful and he is nothing but abusive

    Reply
  12. Avatar for Mary Mock mmock
    Mary on

    We have a 50 something brother who lives with mom. Mom lets him back home all the time. Even after restraining order. God forbid she passes because we think we will have trouble getting him to leave? His license has her home address. Is that the case?

    Reply
  13. Avatar for Mary Mock mmock
    Al on

    I need huge help. My Son in law an adult was so dominant and aggressive. He don’t do house chores. Don’t even wash dishes nor cleaning his room like he gets piss when you asking favor to do him house job. The house was owned and named on my behalf and my spouse. All he’s routine was just watchin tv, over his phone, go outside and smoke and not even single time he clean and throw cigarette butts and filter even it’s too full and nasty. He only wear boxer brief inside the house and even go outside back porch to smoke that side by side neighbor can see him if they go to their back porch. It’s always me cleaning up his mess. It’s been 3 years on his usual behavior since I and his Dad got married and living together in the house. He used to get involved on crime/cases since he’s minor and used to released him from law custody. When he gets 21 y.o. during his birth month he started gets in jail and and gets in jail again and got out complied with ankle monitor on him but we’re glad he just got off from it for over 2 years and over. But then, his behavior now like uncontrollable like nobody can kick him out as he always claim that hi’s on his daddy’s care. Anyway, we’re a gay couple. I just want to have a clarification. Can I file for eviction for him if my spouse restraining me on my step for filing eviction for his son? Just wondering. I cannot even watch my own big tv in the living room if he’s on it. Anybody can suggest what to do?

    Reply
  14. Avatar for Mary Mock mmock
    almi valenzuela on

    i have a 23 year old
    son, who stole money from me,stole my credit card charged $3,000 to $6,000 on my credit card, does nothing but smoke weeds and play games i want him out of the house, i begged him, wrote a letter but he wouldnt leave
    what do i have to do?

    Reply
  15. Avatar for Mary Mock mmock
    Jane on

    Hi, a friend of mine is married to a man with two adult girls who live in same house with them and Drama can’t stop in the house because of the adult kids, she also is emotionally and physically scared because of them, they never want to leave the house either because their father won’t let them and uses them as artillery to intimidate or want to control his wife, can she just call the police to get them out? They have a mother willing to house them if they leave, what can the step mother do to keep herself sane as well as her marriage without having to leave her matrimonial home?

    Reply
  16. Avatar for Mary Mock mmock
    Angela on

    My alcoholic, schizophrenic, 65 year old brother lives in a motor home on our parents property. He is extremely abusive to our 84 year old, frail, sweet, mother calling her a “whore” and worse. He tells her how awful she is daily. Just what he did to his x wife until she was able to escape. He beat his x almost to death.
    Dad has dementia and needs meds and my brother tells him every day not to take his meds, that rhey are poison. He tells my dad with dementia all of these delusions about my 84 year old mom cheating. (Been married 66 years no cheating and always a loving marriage).
    Mom can’t throw him out. Dad is lost in dementia. I finally put a nanny cam in the house to catch the abuse and i have video of him verbally abusing our mother and it is the sickest and saddest thing i have ever seen. We are in oregon. He pays like 175 a month for his electric which probably barely covers it.

    Reply
  17. Avatar for Mary Mock mmock
  18. Avatar for Mary Mock mmock
    Susan Floyd on

    On August 1-2, 2020, My daughter moved back home, due to reasons like, The lease was up at the apartment complex where she was staying, She wanted to help me with bills, She was going to save for a apartment, & last , She was spiritually guided by The Lord to come back home.
    Unfortunately, when she came back home , she tried to change My house to the way she would like her apartment to be, Then she would take items of mine, and store them, and replace them with something of hers Without asking me was it ok to do it..
    As the days & weeks went by…
    Things became worse, because Before she moved in ( Which she did not properly ask me ), I was and still currently getting help for PTSD, & Depression..She began to point out things wrong with My house, and he had heated arguments where I would have to leave home. Me..leaving Out of my home … to get peace..At one point, She made me feel like I was a worthless mother, until she mentally & emotionally beat me down until I went to a dark place to wanting to commit suicide .. and I’m the reason why she is have her own emotional problem stems g from bad decisions in her past. I cannot take any more mental & emotional cruelty any more. Please help me, So that I can start process of her being evicted. I need to do this for my sanity..
    Respectfully,
    Susan Floyd

    Reply

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