How to write an eviction notice to a family member who is an acting tenant of your house

If you are a landlord, then there are times when you might need to evict a tenant for a variety of reasons. Some common reasons for evicting a tenant may include unpayable rents, damage to property, or commission of a crime. Hence, an eviction letter is necessary to move out a tenant because you have to comply with the legalities. Moreover, drafting and delivering an eviction notice should be in compliance with the local and state laws of the country.

Family members are undoubtedly good roommates unless they start to annoy you for no reason. They often mess up your things and don’t work evenly living in the same house or room. But sometimes, regular spontaneous parties and diversified personality traits are the reason for deteriorating the relationship. This is one of the many reasons why people find themselves in a position to evict a family member, roommate, or tenant.

In this article, you will find out how to write an eviction notice to a family member or your tenant if you are a landlord and things are getting unacceptable.

Can you evict a family member legally?

Many homeowners end up exiting a guest who refuses to vacate a house through an eviction letter. People you may want to evict happen to be your relatives mainly, the ones often promise that they won’t be a burden but end up being one and you get no option but to tell them to leave. In this case, you have to find legal actions and find ways to write an eviction notice to a family member or relative.

The laws on classifying the residents in a rental unit or home vary greatly among states no matter if they stay in a house without any lease agreement or rental payment agreements. In the light of legislation, a visitor can be referred to as a licensee or a tenant. A tenant in some areas of the United States is the one who pays rent or leases your land for a certain period, but in other areas, the term refers to a person who occupies the space you own without paying rent or lease.

In some states, when someone stays for an extended period at a landlord’s house is also considered a licensee and it is acceptable to tell the person to leave the house without any eviction notice or legal action if the landlord didn’t extend the lease or exchanged the rent.

If you’re reluctant to make your visitor stay longer or a landlord looking for ways to evict your licensee, the first thing that you should look for is your state laws. As mentioned earlier, the visitors and guests are classified differently in states. If the visitor is considered as licensee or tenant, as a landlord you need to follow the eviction process regulated by your state law.

How to legally evict a family member?

Possibly you have told your relative politely to leave your house. Maybe you have even sent hints to your relative to find another home for rent. But you eventually end up realizing that only an eviction letter will help you to bring things into action.

A Los Angeles real estate lawyer Zachary D. Schorr says that, “the law does not allow any property manager or landlord to force a tenant to leave the land instantly. No matter what the tenant has done which deserves eviction”.

He added that in every situation, a landlord must go through the eviction process through the court system.

An eviction process of the court system obligates a landlord to:

  • Serve the tenant with the legal notice to vacate that should state the reason and the date when you want the tenant to vacate the place. If the tenancy is ending and as a landlord, you don’t want the tenant to stay further, then the notice should be served three to three days before the tenancy reinstating date arrives. The eviction notice should be written clearly, specifying every detail with the help of a real estate attorney to make the eviction process legal and smooth. If the lease date has ended and your tenant isn’t evicting the place, then you can file a breaking of lease agreement case and evict him on this basis.
  • If the tenant is unwilling to vacate the house by the deadlines, the next option is to file the petition at the housing courts of your state where a judge of the county court hears the illegal detainer hearings. They also check the notice date, reasons, and lease agreement before making any verdict. If the judge finds everything according to law, then he may issue an order of eviction and the court order that gives you the possession of your property back.
  • On finding the court order and the legal notice, if your tenant still does not move from your property, then he’s violating court orders and you can contact law enforcement officers to help him vacate your house.

If the tenant is your relative, eviction or deals can be chaotic since emotional feelings are involved. Here’s how you can simplify the eviction process and make it much less excruciating for everyone involved.

Contact a lawyer: To have legal advice is always beneficial when you are not aware of your state’s landlord-tenant laws. Eviction laws are greatly legislated by the local and state laws and a real estate attorney with complete information can help you better in this regard.

Avoid receiving rent: If you want to evict your unwanted guest(s), do not accept rent or anything in terms of rent because taking rent provides additional rights to tenants.

Pen down the lease terms: It is important to provide a written lease agreement stating the lease terms if you are expecting your tenants are spending more time than a Christmas vacation in your house. If you expect your tenants to be responsible for the bills, house repairs and want them to avoid recreational substances, write them down so you can have evidence to vacate them when the situation arrives.

Try to sort out things nicely: If you can really turn conversations into an acceptable agreement then the eviction can end up nicely and even quicker. The legal eviction process can cost you from $1000 to $10,000 as legal fees only and can cost you even more if the case goes in front of the jury. Therefore, sort things out by taking rational steps rather than emotional ones to avoid involving legal remedies.


  • If your tenant does not leave the property as per the stated date, then you should seek legal advice to determine the next course of action.
  • You should either hand over the letter of eviction or send it through a certified email. This will make sure that the tenant has received the letter.

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