Stephen R. Hasner
Managing Partner at Hasner Law PC
May 6, 2024

NOTE: Our law firm does not handle eviction cases. This article is for informational purposes only. Information found in the article does not constitute formal legal advice and does not create an attorney/client relationship.

Many young adults live with their parents. One report found that more young adults lived with their parents in 2019 than in previous years. The number of adult children living with their parents increased during the pandemic. However, the number was notable even before the advent of COVID-19.

Many parents face the dilemma of how and when to evict their adult children. When pleading, bribing, and threatening do not work, what can parents do to get their adult children out of their homes in Georgia?

Use Non-Legal Remedies

If possible, work with your child to form a plan for them to move out of your home. Developing a timeline with your child can help establish a plan for moving out. If your child does not have the money to move out, you may want to consider helping them save money, gifting them money, or offering them a loan with a repayment plan.

You may want to consider mediation. A neutral mediator can help resolve conflicts that prevent you and your adult child from having to form an agreement for your child to move out. In some cases, the mediator can assist in drafting a contract to make the agreement legally binding on all parties.

Non-legal remedies can help preserve your relationship with your child. It can also be less costly than going through the court system to evict an adult child in Georgia. 

Legal Steps to Evict Adult Children From a Parent’s Home in Georgia 

It is best for everyone if an adult child agrees to leave their parents’ home without legal action. However, if your adult child refuses to leave, you may have no choice but to use legal methods to evict your child from your home.

Do not attempt to remove your adult child physically from your home. This action could be dangerous and could result in assault charges against you. Instead, seek advice from a lawyer about your legal options for getting your adult child out of your home.

Does Your Child Have a Lease?

As a tenant, your child has rights under the law. If you and your child signed a lease agreement, you must follow Georgia landlord-tenant laws to evict your child. You will need to bring a dispossesory action (also known as an eviction proceeding) with your local court

The terms of the lease should dictate your rights as the landlord, including when you have the right to evict the tenant (“your child”). If your child violates any terms of the lease, you can file an eviction action.

Examples of breaches of contract that could give you the right to evict your child include:

  • Failing to pay rent
  • Consistently paying the rent late
  • Property damage
  • Violating pet policies
  • Smoking in a smoke-free home
  • Operating a business from the property
  • Having long-term guests

However, you must follow the legal requirements for eviction, even if you are evicting your adult child. Therefore, you may need to provide written notice to vacate the property before filing an eviction lawsuit. 

If your child has not violated the terms of the lease agreement, you may still be able to evict them under the lease terms. For example, if the lease has a fixed-term end date that has passed, you may be able to evict them. Also, month-to-month lease agreements often contain a clause for terminating the lease with a 30-day notice. 

What if You Do Not Have a Written Lease Agreement?

It could be easier to evict your adult child without a lease agreement, especially if your child does not pay rent and does not contribute to the household. In this case, your adult child is a guest, and you can ask a guest to leave at any time.

If your adult child refuses to leave, you may be able to have them arrested for trespassing. However, it is best to check with a lawyer before taking drastic measures. A court could find that your adult child is a tenant even though there is no written lease agreement.

In that case, you may need to follow the procedure for evicting someone who has a month-to-month lease agreement. You would need to provide the required notice in writing and wait until that notice expires before taking legal action to evict your adult child.

Evicting an adult child from your home could be challenging if your adult child has special needs or a young child. Before beginning an eviction proceeding, it is wise to talk with a lawyer. Understanding your legal rights and your options is the first step in removing an adult child from your home who refuses to leave voluntarily. 

What Is the Process for Evicting an Adult Child in Georgia?

Evicting an adult child from a property you own involves a few steps and depends on their lease status. If they are violating lease terms, such as not paying rent, you can start eviction proceedings immediately. However, if they are following the lease terms but you don’t want to renew the lease, you must wait until the lease period ends. Generally, you need to give a notice of non-renewal at least 30 to 60 days before the lease expires, and this notice must be in writing.

In the case of a family member without a specific lease term or on a month-to-month lease, you can issue a non-renewal notice anytime, as long as you provide the legally required notice period for them to vacate.

If your child doesn’t comply with lease terms or refuses to leave after receiving a notice of non-renewal, the next step is to serve a written eviction notice. The required notice period before initiating formal eviction varies depending on your location and the reason for eviction, but it’s typically at least three days.

After serving the eviction notice and waiting the necessary period, you can take the case to court. Many jurisdictions have special courts for landlord-tenant disputes. You’ll need to file a lawsuit in court and then notify your child by serving them a copy of the lawsuit and any other necessary court documents. Your child will have a chance to respond in writing. The case may go through a settlement conference or proceed to trial. Although these cases are usually quicker than standard civil cases, they can still take several months.

If the court rules in your favor, it will issue an eviction order enforceable by the local sheriff. Typically, your child will be given a grace period to leave the property voluntarily before the sheriff can forcibly remove them.

Can You Collect Back Rent From an Adult Child Without a Lease?

If an adult child or anyone is staying on your property without a formal lease or rent agreement, you can’t retroactively charge them rent. The absence of a lease might imply they are merely a guest, not a tenant, and therefore do not have the right to stay against your wishes. Should they refuse to leave under these circumstances, it could be considered trespassing, and you might need to involve local law enforcement to have them removed.

On the other hand, if there was a verbal agreement for rent payment, even if not in writing, you might have a case for collecting back rent. In many states, oral rental agreements are valid and enforceable for terms under a year. Additionally, in some situations, an informal lease or rental agreement might automatically transition to a month-to-month lease after its initial period ends.

Proving a verbal agreement in court can be challenging. It’s beneficial to have witnesses to the agreement, if any, and to document your efforts in requesting the back rent, such as sending a Late Rent Notice.

When the adult child agrees to pay the overdue rent, it’s advisable to formalize it through a Late Rent Payment Agreement. If the agreement includes paying in installments, establishing a Rent Payment Plan could be necessary.

Author Stephen Headshot
Managing Partner at Hasner Law PC
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Stephen Hasner is the founder and managing partner of Hasner Law PC. Since being licensed in Florida in 1997 and in Georgia in 1999, Stephen has worked tirelessly to help Georgia residents navigate the legal process following a serious injury. This includes injuries sustained at work, in motor vehicle accidents, and in cases of personal injury. The team at Hasner Law is dedicated to securing compensation for their clients who have been injured through no fault of their own.