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Unauthorized co-tenant

Discussion in 'Eviction, Recovery of Premises' started by LeeTher, Mar 13, 2017.

  1. LeeTher

    LeeTher Law Topic Starter Guest

    Jurisdiction:
    North Carolina
    I have a verbal agreement with my brother to rent my house. Initially, his girlfriend lived there with permission. However, after a bitter falling out, she left and went to Texas for six months. As part of our new verbal agreement, his girlfriend was not allowed to be in the house. Unbeknownst to me, she moved back in. I want her gone. If she is not an authorized tenant per our verbal lease, do I still have to go through the formal eviction process?
     
  2. mightymoose

    mightymoose Moderator

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    If she won't leave willingly, yes.
    Have you asked her to move out or addressed this with your brother?
    Also consider that a tenant is typically permitted to have guests for short periods of time. How long has she been there?
     
  3. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    It is your brother who is the tenant. He is the one that is not complying with your agreement. It is he that you have to deal with, not her.

    The NC landlord tenant statute allows you to terminate a month to month rental agreement by giving at least 7 days notice prior to the end of the rental period.

    See:

    http://www.ncleg.net/EnactedLegislation/Statutes/PDF/BySection/Chapter_42/GS_42-14.pdf

    I suggest you give him written notice that his tenancy is terminated if he doesn't get her out and you will evict him and her through the courts if he doesn't comply.

    Otherwise, she's his guest regardless of duration, and you won't be successful trying to get her out without dealing with your brother.
     
  4. LeeTher

    LeeTher New Member

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    Not sure. I just found out she was there after they got into a fight and she had him arrested for communicating threats.
     
  5. LeeTher

    LeeTher New Member

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    He wants her gone as well. They got into another fight and she had him arrested for communicating threats. She is saying that she is a tenant and must be legally evicted.
     
  6. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    She demands to be evicted, then I suggest you make her demand become her reality.
    Read this:
    ..
    ..
    How to Evict a Tenant in North Carolina
    ..
    ..
    You DO have a lease.
    Real estate transactions can't be verbal.
    Because of the "statute of frauds" found in English common law, our state legislatures created statutes to cover this gap.
    I suggest you simply remedy the issue and create a lease on paper between you and your brother.
    That way it spells out EVERYTHING for you both to obey.
    Your state also requires certain disclosures about security deposits, if you and he have such an arrangement.
    I suggest you inform yourself about property rentals.
    Two of the homes I own, I gifted to my sons to avoid the issues you're experiencing.
    It just wasn't worth the hassle to me to ride herd on the few lousy dollars and the myriad of issues from being a landlord.
    Your lease is found in your state statutes, Chapter 42.14 to be specific, which speaks to landlord-tenant matters.
     
    LeeTher likes this.
  7. mightymoose

    mightymoose Moderator

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    This is not necessarily true. Your brother may certainly invite her as a guest whether you like it or not. Guests are not tenants and may be removed from the property without an eviction when they overstay their welcome.
    Through certain actions a guest may become a tenant and hold tenant rights, even if not authorized by you. This is why most written lease agreements include language regarding guests. As a tenant that person then needs to be evicted through the usual process.
    You need to discuss with your brother and determine how long she has been living there and what she has done, if anything, to contribute to maintaining the residence and what agreements he might have made with her.
    If the details support that she is a guest rather than a tenant then law enforcement should help you with removal by trespass.
    If she is a tenant you need to begin an eviction. You do not have to evict your brother to remove her.
    A local attorney would be able to help you determine whether she is a guest or tenant if you aren't able to determine on your own. It may not be obvious, and the less obvious it is the more likely you will need to evict.
     
  8. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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  9. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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  10. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    Maybe you should have looked it up before you wrote that so emphatically.

    "North Carolina General Statutes Chapter 22: Contracts Requiring Writing. 22-2. Contract for sale of land; leases. All contracts to sell or convey any lands, tenements or hereditaments, or any interest in or concerning them, and all leases and contracts for leasing land for the purpose of digging for gold or other minerals, or for mining generally, of whatever duration; and all other leases and contracts for leasing lands exceeding in duration three years from the making thereof, shall be void unless said contract, or some memorandum or note thereof, be put in writing and signed by the party to be charged therewith, or by some other person by him thereto lawfully authorized."

    North Carolina General Assembly - General Statutes - Chapter 22: Contracts Requiring Writing.

    A lease or rental agreement for up to 3 years does not have to be in writing unless it's for the purpose of digging for gold or other minerals, or for mining generally.

    I'm not saying that a landlord shouldn't have or need a written agreement, just saying that whatever oral agreement the OP has with his brother is enforceable and subject to the month to month termination provision of the landlord tenant statute.
     
  11. LeeTher

    LeeTher New Member

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    3 weeks.
     
  12. mightymoose

    mightymoose Moderator

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    It's my understanding that verbal agreements default to standard terms set in statute regardless of what the agreed terms were (since there is no evidence of the agreement).
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2017
  13. mightymoose

    mightymoose Moderator

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    You need to get more detail from your brother.
    Whether she is a guest or a tenant depends on those details.
    Did he agree to let her move in permanently? Did he invite her over one day and she just stayed? Was she contributing to the rent or any utilities?
    It is possible to be there three days and be a tenant, and be there three months and only be a guest.
    The time she has been there is only one factor. A local attorney can help you determine which she is if you are not sure.
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2017
  14. LeeTher

    LeeTher New Member

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    "whatever oral agreement the OP has with his brother is enforceable and subject to the month to month termination provision of the landlord tenant statute."

    If they were supposed to pay every week, do they have to abide by the week-to-week termination provision or month-to-month termination provision?
     
  15. LeeTher

    LeeTher New Member

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    Never contributed to rent. She supposedly came to visit. Now she's refusing to leave.
     
  16. mightymoose

    mightymoose Moderator

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    If you go to your local court courthouse you can pick up a packet regarding evictions, or unlawful detainers. This packet will explain everything you will need to know to get through the process.
    You are likely in a situation in which you will have to treat them as month to month tenants.... Unless it is determined the girlfriend is a guest. That seems to be the only shortcut solution here.
     
  17. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    All I can suggest is you research "statute of frauds".
     
  18. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    Yes, that's what the "statute of frauds" led state legislatures to do.
    However, the myth continues that the "arrangement" is oral or verbal.
    As most, modern day, side mounted, rear-view mirrors on motor vehicles admonish by words similar to these, "Objects may be closer than they appear."
     
  19. mightymoose

    mightymoose Moderator

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    If you can string together details and circumstances that support that she is a temporary guest exceeding her welcome you can try to get her removed for trespassing.
    If you aren't able to give convincing evidence that she is not a tenant expect law enforcement to be reluctant to take action without an eviction.
    You'll have to check locally to find out exactly how this procedure works.
    If you are wanting both of them out then you need to go through the eviction process anyway, so just begin that and name them both.
     
  20. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    If it were my brother, I'd ask him to evict her.

    Based upon the legal troubles he's suffered because of her (and his actions, too), one would think he'd cooperate.

    One would think that if domestic violence allegations have reared their ugly heads, the court has issued him an order to stay away from her.

    If he refuses to act, then I'd evict him.

    If he's gone, she will be too!

    If you spoke to him about his freedom being at jeopardy, he might see things differently, Leether.
     

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