Stephen Hasner | Georgia Law | January 24, 2022
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.
A dilemma many parents face is when and how 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 home 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 your child 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 need to 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.
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