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How do I evict an adult family member who is not paying rent?

Atlanta, GA |

Grown daughter, 25, working & fully able to be self-supporting. (We dont get along, we have a host-parasite relationship). The police say I need to give her 30 days notice then follow legal procedings as though she were a tenant. So 2 days ago I prepared eviction notice, mailed certified, emailed, & posted on bedroom door. She stormed out of the house not to be heard from since. Am I within my rights to change locks & security codes and bar her from returning? I have no problems returning personal property.

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Attorney answers 2


No you are not within your rights. Follow the officer's advice. GO to court to evict. Self help will get you sued.

DISCLAIMER: The response given is not intended to create, nor does it create an ongoing duty to respond to questions. The response does not form an attorney-client relationship, nor is it intended to be anything other than the educated opinion of the author. It should not be relied upon as legal advice. The response given is based upon the limited facts provided by the person asking the question. To the extent additional or different facts exist, the response might possibly change. Attorney is licensed to practice law only in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Responses are based solely on Pennsylvania law unless stated otherwise.
James S. Tupitza
212 W. Gay Street
West Chester, PA 19380


First, please understand that I am not licensed to practice in GA, so this is not legal advise but more commentary. I do not believe that law enforcement officers are in a position to know civil law either. Typically, an eviction is used when there is a landlord-tenant relationship. Your question does not indicate that there is rent owing, which to me implies that a formal rental agreement was not made.

If my interpretation of your question is accurate, then it is more likely that you would have to bring an action for "unlawful detainer", which is used when the guest comes onto the property by invitation, lawfully, but now refuses to leave.

If your daughter--and I have a daughter with whom I have to walk on eggshells we love each other but getting along is a different story--has left the home for just a few days, I would not consider that an abandonment. But again, this is not a landlord-tenant situation.

Coming to Avvo is a start, but you really need to consult with a GA attorney so that you are fully informed as to your rights and obligations. The police officers were well intentioned, but not attorneys.

Good luck.

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