Parents have several options in evicting son

  • Article by: RENTING and THE LAW KELLY KLEIN
  • Updated: October 12, 2007 - 6:16 PM

Q My husband and I have been round and round with police, a family law attorney, Hennepin Housing Court and our son, Ryan, to encourage him to move out and/or have him removed from our home.

Q My husband and I have been round and round with police, a family law attorney, Hennepin Housing Court and our son, Ryan, to encourage him to move out and/or have him removed from our home.

We gave Ryan a notarized eviction notice and were then told we could not evict a person who did not have a rental agreement, nor could we evict Ryan without him getting an unlawful detainer that will impact him the rest of his life.

It was then suggested to give him a 90-day notice. Both suggestions were given by Hennepin County Housing Court.

Ryan states he will appeal any action we take. We cannot afford, nor do we desire to enter a lengthy legal battle.

We've been told that Ryan is legally living in our home because he is our child and has our address on his license, and yet the advice we have so far does not seem to address our issue concerning an adult child.

A There are other resources out there for parents like you; one might be your local Al-Anon office. You may want to talk with these folks before pursuing an eviction, because the eviction notation will be on Ryan's record for seven years and will make it harder for him to find a place to rent. On the other hand, if the situation continues to be intolerable, you may have no other choice.

I know there are others who have been in your situation, and have successfully pursued eviction actions against family members. There are no special laws that prevent you from evicting your son. Police officers and courthouse employees aren't allowed to give legal advice. I am sure they were trying to help, but I think talking with a lawyer is a much better idea.

It sounds as if the written agreement you have with your son may be considered a lease. If he has failed to pay rent, or if you can demonstrate that he has had drugs on the premises or has violated the written lease in any other way, then you can pursue an unlawful detainer action, which is now called an eviction action under Minnesota law.

Either way, he is staying pursuant to a lease, whether that lease is oral or written. If he has drugs on the premises, then that is a valid reason to evict him, whether he has a written or oral lease.

You could also give him a 30-day notice to vacate, which it sounds as though you may already have done. If that "eviction notice" you gave him told him to be out at the end of the month following the month that you gave it to him (i.e., you gave it to him in July and it told him to be out on Aug. 31), then you can enforce that notice after it has expired.

When you pursue your eviction action, you should make sure that you include all of the legal reasons that you have to evict your son, including the nonpayment of rent as well as the illegal drug use and any other legal violations. If you have a reason to evict him, and you don't include it, you cannot raise that reason later on.

You should know that after the court orders your son to leave, you may have to have the sheriff come to evict him forcibly. After you receive the order from the court, you must apply for a writ, which allows the sheriff to come to your home and order your son to leave.

I would talk to a lawyer who specializes in evictions. If the lawyer pursues it, you may not even have to show up in court and it may be much less stressful for you.

Kelly Klein is a Minneapolis attorney. Do not rely on advice in this column regarding a legal situation until you consult a qualified attorney; information provided by readers is not confidential; participation in this column does not create an attorney/client relationship, and no such relationship is created without a retainer agreement with Klein. If you have questions concerning renting, you can e-mail her at kklein@kleinpa.com, post your questions at www.startribune.com/kellyklein or write in care of Star Tribune, 425 Portland Av. S., Minneapolis, MN 55488.

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