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Complicated Family Eviction

Discussion in 'Other Residential Landlord & Tenant Issues' started by Marie I, Aug 30, 2023.

  1. Marie I

    Marie I Law Topic Starter New Member

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    My brother lives with my parents (73 & 80 years old) in Virginia and has no rental agreement nor does he contribute rent. He got married 2 years ago and his wife moved in as well. After marriage, we discovered she has serious mental health issues. She’s a hoarder as well as bipolar. She goes through an ongoing cycle of being manic, sleeping and then normal. She has never worked since moving in nor has she contributed financially.

    She drained their bank account last week and left the home with several suitcases. We know she was been staying with various people and is now trying to find a way back.

    My brother would like to get a divorce at this point and I know that is a whole different issue. My concern is with my parents and the havoc she creates in the their home. Does she have any legal rights to stay at my parents home? If she does, does that go away after being gone for a certain amount of time? Any guidance would be appreciated. I have tried to look through Va laws and can’t seem to find clear guidance on this situation.
  2. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    Not really. Your brother needs to file his divorce petition with the court right NOW. The preliminary injunction may be all it takes to prevent her re-entry. He's only making more trouble for himself and the family if he delays.

    As for the "tenant" issue, there is none.

    Virginia Residential Landlord Tenant Act
    Section 55.1-1200 Definitions
    "Tenant" means a person entitled only under the terms of a rental agreement to occupy a dwelling unit to the exclusion of others and includes a roomer. "Tenant" does not include (i) an authorized occupant, (ii) a guest or invitee, or (iii) any person who guarantees or cosigns the payment of the financial obligations of a rental agreement but has no right to occupy a dwelling unit.

    § 55.1-1200. Definitions

    She is not a tenant and has no tenant or occupancy rights under any Virginia law.

    She was a guest who voluntarily departed with bag and baggage.

    I suggest that your parents immediately change all the locks of the house and just continue to say "no" to her demand for re-entry.

    If they don't already have a security door (or a ring camera with audio), they should have one installed quickly. A security door or ring camera allows them to talk to somebody outside without risking having them push their way in once the door is opened.

    She may show up with a cop who may try to bluff them about her being a tenant. But your parents will have the statute section printed out and kept on hand.

    If there is any issue with any personal property that she claims, advise your parents to tell her to show up with an appropriate vehicle, tell them what she wants, and they can bring it out to her.

    The weak link here is your brother if he allows himself to be sympathetic enough to let her back in. Once in, she will never leave.
    eerelations and army judge like this.

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