How to Put a Friend or Relative out of Your House

Three Methods:Asking Someone to LeaveLegally Removing PeopleSetting Ground-Rules for House Guests

Being called upon to help a friend or relative out during tough times is a situation many find themselves in. Most of us are glad to help, for a short period of time at least. Should you find yourself in the position where you have a house guest that turns into a long-term roommate, it can be difficult to evict them without drama.

Method 1
Asking Someone to Leave

  1. Image titled Put a Friend or Relative out of Your House Step 1
    Determine why you want them to leave. You need to be clear with your own reasoning before diving into the conversation. Review any agreements you made when they moved in, or any promises that have been made/broken. Assess the situation and their current behavior, grounding your reasoning in fact. While "I don't like living with them" is an acceptable reason to ask someone to move, you want concrete details, like "they never do the dishes," "they said they would leave months ago," etc before talking to them.
    • Write down the issues as they occur, along with the date. You want a detailed, specific record of their behavior in case things get difficult.
    • This conversation will not be easy, and it will more than likely damage your relationship. However, living together with serious differences or issues will also hurt your friendship, so you need to take a stand if they've been there too long.
  2. Image titled Put a Friend or Relative out of Your House Step 2
    Speak with a reasonable and respectful tone of voice. Although you may be feeling violated, fed up, or sick and tired, it is important not to explode and make unreasonable demands. Lay out your reasons for asking them to leave, and let them know that you understand how hard this is. Speak to them as you would a co-worker, sticking to the facts and not emotional outbursts.
    • "We've enjoyed having you, but we unfortunately need our space back and have to ask you to leave in the next two weeks.
    • Stick to the reasons you drafted earlier. If they've been a problem or broken promises, remind them that they have not held up their end of the bargain and need to move on to a new environment.
  3. Image titled Put a Friend or Relative out of Your House Step 3
    Provide detailed, impersonal examples if they ask why they need to leave. Do not respond with "because I hate you," or "because you're lazy." Give them tangible examples instead of insulting them. This is where a list will come in handy. If they are a constant source of issues, write down each incident and the date as they arise. When they ask "why," mention 2-3 specific times where they broke a promise or caused you trouble.
    • Focus on your reasons for asking them to leave, not all of their flaws, whenever possible. "We need more space," "We can't afford to keep you here anymore," etc.
  4. Image titled Put a Friend or Relative out of Your House Step 4
    Provide a firm date they need to leave by. Telling them that they need to leave that night may cause incredible stress and tension, and your friend or relative may not have anywhere to go. Instead, choose a date they need to leave by and let them know that this is a firm deadline. In general, try and give at least 1-2 weeks, or until the end of the month, so that they have some time to prepare for their next move.
    • "I'd like you completely moved out by April 20th."
    • If there is a legitimate reason why that date is bad, you can talk with them to find a better day. However, don't shift by more than 3-5 days.
  5. Image titled Put a Friend or Relative out of Your House Step 5
    Seek out information or alternatives as a good will gesture. If you have the resources, compile some ideas to help your guest's relocation process. You can even bring these with you to the discussion, letting them know that they need to leave but that there are options available. They may reject your ideas, but showing that you still care about their well-being can soften the blow.
  6. Image titled Put a Friend or Relative out of Your House Step 6
    Be firm, clear, and consistent about your decision. Once you've decided to put them out, hold your ground. This conversation could get messy, and emotions will flair up no matter how prepared you are. You need to stand firm, however, and stick to your decision. If your housemate convinces you to change your mind, they'll realize that they can continue breaking rules and promises without ever changing. If things are so bad that you're going to put them out, you need to be ready to really put them out.
  7. Image titled Put a Friend or Relative out of Your House Step 7
    Understand that this may damage or ruin your relationship. Putting out a friend or relative is stressful, and will most likely lead to lingering hard feelings. Ultimately, however, you need to remember that keeping them in your house for too long can damage your relationship just as much. If you are constantly in conflict, your friend/relative is taking advantage of you, or you are simply incompatible living partners, then your relationship will only turn toxic if you stay under the same roof. That said, there are ways to try and keep your friendship alive. You can:
    • Help them find their new place or job.
    • Avoid insults, even in tense situations. If they are angry, stay calm and reiterate why it is important to you that they find a new place to live. Don't start slinging insults.
    • Set up times to meet, have them over for dinner, and continue seeing each other as friends.
    • If you get into a big fight, or have serious disagreements, then it may be best to cut them off completely.

Method 2
Legally Removing People

  1. Image titled Put a Friend or Relative out of Your House Step 8
    Send a certified letter asking them to leave in 30 days or less. While a house guest is not technically a tenet, certain tenant-landlord laws still apply to the relationship if they've been with your for more than 30 days.[1] Talk to an attorney who will help you draft and send an eviction notice. Giving this advance warning, in writing, is essential to protect your liability.
    • This warning will legally establish them as an "at-will tenant." You need this status if you have to pursue legal action, so do not skip it.
  2. Image titled Put a Friend or Relative out of Your House Step 9
    File an official tenant eviction order with your local courts if they still don't leave. If they paid for groceries or any bills, they may legal be an "at-will tenant," making it much harder to kick them out legally.[2] If they ignore the first written warning, you'll need to file a formal eviction proceedings with your local district court in order to get them out.[3]
    • If you plan on a court order, you should be prepared with a list of issues and infractions (known as "just cause for eviction") as well as a copy of your lease and any agreements.
    • Generally, your letter will outline a place for them to receive their belongings in the event that they don't move, as well as the specific date their stuff will be removed from your house.[4]
  3. Image titled Put a Friend or Relative out of Your House Step 10
    Do not change the locks unless you are worried about your safety. If you suddenly lock out a an at-will tenant, especially if their belongings are still in the house, you could be the target of costly civil suits and legal action. Changing the locks on a guest, if it causes problems or cuts them off from their property, can even get you jail time in the wrong circumstances. Moreover, it often inflames already high tensions and can lead to further issues.[5]
    • Once you have a court order, and/or have notified the police that you are worried about your safety, you can safely change your locks.
  4. Image titled Put a Friend or Relative out of Your House Step 11
    Call the police if they still refuse to leave. Unless they are a legitimate resident of the house, usually determined if they receive mail or are on the lease, they can be removed from your property as a "trespasser." Obviously, involving the police is for the most extreme cases, and even the mentioning of 911 is often enough to finally get someone out the door. Some police offices will refuse to get involved in a matter like this. However, if you've sent the letter and/or filed for eviction with a court, they will come remove your guest as a trespasser.

Method 3
Setting Ground-Rules for House Guests

  1. Image titled Put a Friend or Relative out of Your House Step 12
    Set your rules and boundaries early on. If you start to get the feeling someone is becoming more of a roommate and less of a visitor, set some ground rules as soon as possible. This gives you something to stand on when you eventually need to kick them out -- you can point back to the concrete rules laid down earlier instead of getting emotional.
    • Set your expectations within the first week. Do they need to pay rent? Do they have to be pursuing job interviews? Have clear benchmarks for them to meet if they want to stay in the house.
  2. Image titled Put a Friend or Relative out of Your House Step 13
    Make a timeline for their departure. Before formally asking them to leave, sit down and ask when they plan on moving out. Put the ball in their court, which makes it easier to stick to this move-out date as it approaches. If they don't a timeline in mind, you should make one together. Come up with something concrete, such as "when they get a job," or "after 6 months."
    • If they need a job, work together to come up with specific goals to reach for -- applying to 1 job a day, rewriting their resume, etc. Make sure they are actually trying to get a job and not just enjoying the free bed.
    • If you aren't sure whether or not they should move in, make a trial period. Tell them when they move in that they have 2-3 months, at which point you're not sure if they can stay.[6]
  3. Image titled Put a Friend or Relative out of Your House Step 14
    Make notes of issues and problems as they arise. If your friend or relative is breaking the rules, being disrespectful, or going back on their promises to you, right down the incident along with the date and time in a small notebook. Again, this gives you specifics to bring up when you talk to them about leaving, instead of vague generalities or emotional appeals.
    • Keep this as impersonal as possible. Asking them to leave doesn't have to ruin a friendship, especially if you base your reasons in facts instead of feelings.
  4. Image titled Put a Friend or Relative out of Your House Step 15
    Help them get back on their feet. Some people will get out on their own with a bit of careful nudging. Read over their resumes and cover letters as they apply to jobs, visit open houses with them, and encourage them to spread out and become independent. If you can help someone become self-sufficient, they may leave without causing a conflict.
    • Review their goals and promises together regularly, working together to make them a reality.
    • If you can help finance their new move, this may be all they need to get going.[7]


  • Emotions must be controlled at all costs. The goal here is not to have a brawl but a successful discussion of your wishes and how your guest must respect them.
  • In most cases, you should try and have this discussion 1 on 1. Feeling ganged up can make people feel attacked and cause them to lash out.


  • Make sure you are not angry. If you are angry regarding a particular event or situation wait until you are clear headed to move forward with any discussion.
  • Make sure your guest has no valuable items of yours at the onset of an eviction discussion.

Article Info

Categories: Creating Life Balance