Brian White | April 10, 2020 | legal professional
Your adult child moved back in with you. They said it would be temporary, two years ago. They are still living in your house and they don’t show any signs of preparing to leave. You are ready to have an empty nest and want to be able to live kid-free. What options do you have to get your adult child to move out of your house?
Use non-legal remedies
The best way to continue to have a good relationship with your child, even after they move out, is to try to come to an agreement without using legal remedies. First, try to have a sit-down conversation with them and develop a timeline to help them move out. They may not have enough money to put down for a deposit on a rental property. If that is the case, you need to be prepared to either help them save money or provide a loan or payment to them.
If sitting down does not work, the next step could be to hire a mediator. A mediator is a non-biased third-party who helps resolve conflicts. They listen to both sides and help everyone agree about what to do next. At the end of the mediation, and if both sides agree, the mediator types up a document that both sides sign. The final document can have the validity of a legal contract.
These options may be attractive to everyone because both cut down on legal costs. It can be expensive to go through the court system to evict a family member. It also creates a public record where anyone can look up the case information and read about your family conflict. If you want to avoid these things, it is best to settle out of court by using non-legal remedies.
How to legally evict your adult child
If non-legal remedies have failed, it is time to turn to the courts to help evict your grown child. Do not attempt to remove the child physically by yourself. This can be both dangerous and could lead to assault lawsuits against you. To evict your child, the determining question you need to ask is: do they have a lease? Your course of action will depend on your answer to that question.
There is a lease
First, the good news. Texas is a landlord-friendly state and the laws typically favor property owners and not renters. A lease in Texas obligates both the landlord and the renter for a set period of time. You cannot force your adult child to move out before the end of the lease unless they are in breach of the agreement. Breach means they have violated the agreement between the two parties in some way.
If you have a lease with your adult child, then the law will treat them as a renter and you will have to follow the requirements to evict them. You can either evict them with or without cause. If you evict with cause, this means they are in breach of the contract. Some examples of being in breach of the contract include not paying rent, violating pet policies, and damage to the property. If this is the case, you need to give them a three-day notice to vacate. If they do not move out in that time, you can file an eviction lawsuit with the court.
There are different options if you want to evict them without cause and they have not breached the rental agreement. For month-to-month leases, the parent must give the child a 30-day notice to move. The notice must explicitly state the day they must be out of the house. For leases that have a fixed-term end date, it will be harder to evict them. If there is no breach, you may need to wait out the length of the lease and then evict them at the end of it.
There is no lease
It may be more simple to evict them if there is no lease. This is especially true if they are not paying you any rent. This means that they are a houseguest and not a tenant. If they are a guest in your house, you can ask them to leave without going through the eviction process. However, it may be best to consult with a lawyer. If they have been living with you for a while and use the mailing address, the court may find them to be a tenant.
If your child is considered a tenant but there is no lease, then the lease term will be assumed as month-to-month. This means that you would follow the eviction process above by giving them a 30-days’ notice to vacate before filing an eviction lawsuit with the court.