Evicting adult child

I would like to communicate with any parent who has gone through the process of legally evicting an adult child from the family home.  I met with an attorney through the Alameda County Bar Association referral service, but if my adult child and child's significant other choose to contest the eviction, I cannot afford the lawyer's fees, so I will be handling this on my own.  I have the Nolo Press book for landlords.  I was shocked to learn that, at some point over the last 24 years, I became a landlord and my child, a tenant, according to the law, even though no rent has ever been involved.  (My child's significant other became a tenant simply by dint of having lived at my house for X amount of days.)  The situation involves drug use, assault (multiple police calls) and a fire (the fire was accidental, but drug use by my child's significant other was involved).  Though I am over 65, there apparently are no legal services for seniors that assist landlords.  It would be helpful to talk to someone who'd been through this.  Please feel free to contact me directly.  Thank you.

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RE: Evicting adult child ()

I would also contact adult protective services. Because of your age you are able to receive support from being abused or taken advantage of my others. Good luck!

RE: Evicting adult child ()

Hello.  I had a similar situation with my 80+ father a while back.  The routes we took were calling Adult Protective Services and calling the local police re: elder abuse.  We did not get lawyers involved, but I'm sure there are drop-in lawyers at your local senior center would do pro-bono work.  Even if you are an athletic senior and in very sound mind, I suggest pulling the "age" card,,,,And there is always having the couple busted for illegal substances.  Then you could get a restraining order.  All of this is hard to do, I know, but it sounds like you have already explored several other avenues.  

btw, these are things Family Sanity takes about at their groups for parents of young adults.  You may want to attend a meeting.  www.familysanity.org.

RE: Evicting adult child ()

What about getting a restraining order against them?

RE: Evicting adult child ()

I wonder if you are looking at this through the correct lens.  Is it a landlord-tenant issue or a domestic violence issue?  Domestic violence is not just intimate partner violence; it can be child against parent as well.  If an adult child has been assaultive/abusive (even emotional/verbal abuse), a parent should consider looking at resources for victims of domestic violence, including restraining order clinics.  There are many local resources (STAND, Bay Area Legal, the Family Justice Center, and the Alameda and Contra Costa Superior Court websites).  The Domestic Violence Restraining Order forms are pretty user friendly, and the courts have trained facilitators who can help people who are self-represented (as most people seeking restraining orders are). If a person has grounds for a restraining order, a court may order the restrained party to immediately move out of the home.  

You do not need to feel unsafe in your own home.  

RE: Evicting adult child ()

Just exactly how you handle this may depend on the city you are in. Different cities have different rent control laws which may pertain. I would suggest that even if you cannot hire an attorney for the eviction, you hire an attorney who helps property owners with similar problems in your city for a consult. If there is no rent control in your city, it may be a little bit easier. 

RE: Evicting adult child ()

You are correct that adult children (and their friends) living in your home have rights, even if they have never paid any rent and do nothing but eat your food, leave dirty dishes all over the house, and lie around smoking weed and playing video games.

However, these rights do not extend to being able to remain in the home after assaulting you. The law is very clear on this. The documented violence and any threats of violence is where you should put your focus. The "tenants" may be able to explain away the fire as "an accident" and if their drug use is primarily marijuana and alcohol, they may be able to claim this is "a lifestyle choice" -- but the one thing that cannot be waved away is violence.

You need to file a restraining order (RO). Download the forms from the Alameda County website and follow the instructions. Include the dates when the police came out (and the police report numbers, if possible). Describe any injuries and if you have any photos of bruises, etc, attach these as an exhibit. You do not need a lawyer for this or any other stage of the process. You will need to have the restraining order personally served (handed to) your adult child by someone over 18. This does not have to be a professional server but it cannot be you or anyone directly involved in the restraining order.

If your adult child's partner has been threatening or violent to you, file two separate ROs. If that person has not been abusive to you but has simply sat back and watched you being abused, I think your best bet is to hope she/he moves out with your adult child rather than trying to do an RO without sufficient cause which could backfire on you. Likely this person will not wish to remain living in a home which your child cannot come near.

Once your RO has been granted, it is important that you make use of it consistently and do not start to feel sorry for your adult child and let him/her back until a significant time has passed and the behaviors which led to the abuse (substance abuse, inability or unwillingness to control anger, a sense of entitlement) have been addressed and overcome. Remember that allowing a situation to continue in which your child is assaulting you is not actually protecting your child. This behavior practiced outside the home could lead to your adult child getting shot or sent to jail. 

Once you have the RO, keep it handy and call the police every time your adult child shows up at your home. The police will then take your adult child to jail. (By law, they must.) This process will lack any of the stress-release your adult child may be getting from bullying you and will instead convey in no uncertain terms that mistreating you is unacceptable and illegal and has immediate unpleasant consequences.

As far as having your adult child get his/her belongings out of the house after the RO has been served, they will have to arrange for a neutral third party to come and collect the stuff. Stay strong and remember: whatever problems your adult child may have, even if this includes mental health problems and drug addiction, this does not give your child a free pass to abuse you. Violence tends to escalate so you need to make use of the court system and the police to stop it before it gets worse. You have the right to peace and safety in your own home and tenant laws do not grant a tenant the right to assault or threaten you. 

RE: Evicting adult child ()

Also, you can contact the Family Violence Law Center in Oakland:


They were very helpful to me when I had to file a RO against an ex.