What You Can Do If You Want To Kick Your Ex Boyfriend Or Girlfriend To The Curb
You meet. You fall in love. You ask your significant other to move in with you to spend the rest of your lives living together in domestic bliss. But over time, things change. What was once wonderful has now soured and the love of your life becomes the bane of your existence.
What can you do once the passion is gone and you are ready for him or her to take their next step out of your house and out of your life? You might want to kick them out but getting your ex to vacate your premises may be trickier than you think. This is especially true if they refuse to leave voluntarily.
Potential Strategies To Kick Your Ex Out
You might be saying to yourself, “This is my house. I was just helping them out while they were down on their luck. You never paid rent, paid for any utilities or even contributed for food”. You consider calling the police and filing a trespassing complaint against them. This all sound logical and should be squarely within your rights. Unfortunately, what you will quickly discover is this is not how it works legally.
Trespassing implies that a person is on your property without your permission or consent. You no longer want them there and you logically conclude that the police will help you remove them from your property. Alas, law enforcement will not help you kick them to the curb.
Another tactic you might want to try is putting all of his or her things out on the front porch and changing the locks. This will not work either. This strategy may also put you on the hook for civil penalties and monetary damages if anything happens to their property.
The Sad Reality About Kicking Your Ex Out
Here is the skinny on how the law views an ex live-in lover. If your former partner has a key to your house, has his or her personal possessions under your roof or receives mail at your home, they have the right, under the law, to be there. They have obtained tenant status and cannot be kicked out without formal notice. This situation is especially true if they have lived with you for an extended time.
Anyone living within a dwelling, be it your ex, a house-guest or a friend down on their luck, under these conditions, are considered a “tenant at will”. The fatal mistake was that once you invited your friend to stay a without written statement clearly stating what would happen should the relationship end, they are not required to leave your home unless they are evicted. This means you cannot toss their belongings to the curb, lock them out, shut off the utilities or in any way force them to move.
The only exception to this rule is in cases of domestic violence. If that is the situation you are facing, you can apply for a protective order which will give you the right to get the person out of your home and ban them from returning. What is identified as domestic violence varies from state to state and requires that you provide evidence to support a judge’s ruling for the issuing of a protective order.
While you cannot kick your ex out, you do not have to let him or her back into your bed or your bedroom. You are required to grant them access to the kitchen and bathroom, heat, electricity, water and any of their belongings. You can have them sleep in a guest room or on the sofa. You can also move your valuables into your room, or other storage location and lock them up. This can be prudent if you cannot trust your jilted lover and fear that they might damage your things. If he or she does react negatively and damages any of your property, make sure you document their actions so you can sue them to recover your costs once all is said and done.
Eviction: The Legal Way To Kick Your Ex Out
The laws required to evict someone from your home vary from state to state but are, in general, pretty consistent. This can take as little as two week, and if they want to fight you over it, can last over three months. To begin the process, you are required you provide your ex with written notice to vacate your home. Some states let you post the written notice on the door, others require them to be legally served.
Similarly, each state identifies how long they have to comply with the notice to vacate. In Texas for example, you have to provide a three day notice. In California, a thirty day notice has to be given and if they ever paid rent, a sixty day notice is required. If at the end of this period they have not left, then formal evictions proceedings can begin.
To evict someone, you have to go down to your local courthouse and file a complaint and pay the filing fee. These can range from around $100 and can go up depending on the court location. If you hire a lawyer to help you add even more money to the eviction pot. Once filed, you will be provided with a court date to meet with the judge.
Assuming you win, the court will order your ex to vacate the property. They usually have two days to a full week to comply. If, by the end of that date, they are not gone, you can have your local Sheriff come and physically escort them and their things from your property.
During this waiting period, if you feel uncomfortable, ask a friend to stay with you at your home, stay with someone else or rent a room in a hotel. It is not forever, but dealing with someone you no longer have feeling for and who is dragging you through this in the first place can make this process seem like ages.
Before You Go Tossing Their Leftover Garbage Away
One final note. This is regarding any belongings they may not take with them when they leave. If, at the time of their departure, they do not take all of their possessions, you cannot throw away or sell what they have left behind. You have to give them another 30 days to make arraignments to get the rest of their stuff. After that, what was left behind is considered abandoned property and is yours to do what you will.
Hopefully, if you do decide to terminate a relationship, things will not escalate to this point and they will be respectful and leave when asked. Likewise, if you are thinking about having someone move in with you, you might consider putting together some kind of written agreement. It is romantic, no, but it will save you time, energy and expenses down the road if they decide they do not want to leave when the relationship is over.