How to evict someone

I really debated sending this to GQ, but since there is no “factual” answer AFAIK, I thought it may be a GD on the best way to evict someone. This may get modded over there eventually.

Let’s say I own a house and I make a contract for deed. The mortgagee doesn’t pay so all the legal notices as per my state, you are not my lawyer, etc. so I legally foreclose.

The main question is this. Today is the day I take legal ownership of the land (don’t get bogged down if I legally owed it before the contract was up or legal right to stay or whatever. Suffice to say the other party has no legal rights to the property at all and are now trespassers). I need to go over there and say. “Take your shit and get the fuck out.” Naturally given the circumstances, I don’t want to be Mr. Nice Guy and say I’ll give you a week to move (despite all the legal notices I’m REALLY serious now :rolleyes: ) and have them trash the house. Do I take some deputies or day laborers and throw their crap into the yard? Do I take a the sheriff as a witness with me and take photos of EVERYTHING and give them 48 hours? If I need to go through the eviction process once I take ownership as if they were a renter (30 day notice), can I go in and document the condition of the house without their permission or would they have the same rights as a renter despite the lack of a contract. I know it may depend on the state but are there general legal principles at work?

The answer to this question requires legal advice. Seriously. Eviction regulations and requirements vary dramatically between states in the U.S., and can vary dramatically even in the same state depending on any local laws. That’s leaving aside entirely the type of tenancy and any written or verbal lease that may exist.

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to your question.

That is why this is not in GQ but GD. Is there a BEST way to handle the situation?
But I guess there is a GQ question is that does a person have ANY right to continue living on their former property after a foreclosure is finalized?

In some areas they do. In CA, I beleive you must give them 60 days notice if they were paying rent. In San Jose that may extend to 90 days, in some cases. YMMV.

There’s no way I can think of to evict someone who was at one time legally living there without some sort of Notice and time on said notice.

The type of notice, the length fo time you have to give them and such is indeed a legal advice question as Frank sez. And, of course it differs widely based upon on the facts & circumstances.

This really isn’t a GD.

This isn’t really going as I hoped. Disregard all of the legality and just the art of evicting someone. Let’s say I own a house in the woods and decide to move into it. I find a family of squatters living there. Assume that legally by my state they are not entitled to any more notice. Should I throw their stuff into the yard? Give them 72 hours with the cops behind me? Should I take photos without notice as soon as I find out about it if they trash the house later?

This presents a different set of facts with potentially different solutions than those facts presented in the OP. In this fact pattern, the squatters appear to be mere trespassers and not tenants or others with a prior right of possession of the premises. This may make a difference.

Generally speaking, in California, the process of getting rid of a former owner after a foreclosure is the eviction process.

Generally speaking, in California, the eviction process includes giving due notice, filing an unlawful detainer lawsuit, and having the sheriff perform an eviction based upon a judgment issued by a court.

If you throw someone out unlawfully, you may be exposed to a lawsuit.

Generally speaking, in California, getting rid of a true trespasser is a matter of calling the cops.

The best procedure is to follow the applicable law in your jurisdiction. What are those laws? How do those laws apply to your situation? Contact a lawyer in your jurisdiction.

The “art” of getting rid of someone typically involves asking the court and/or cops help you out in one way or another, having a witness, and taking pictures. If you have the cops throw someone out illegally, you could be in for some trouble.

I am not your lawyer nor can I advise you about your particular matter.

Let’s say I have a visitor in my house. He is very large, and decides he wants to stay permanently. He can break in through my door at any point he so chooses, because the door is warped.

I did invite him to stay for a few days. How do I get him to leave? What can he claim?

Throwing them out without legal process is called “a self-help eviction.” In most states it is illegal.

Go over to your county courthouse, find the civil trials department, and ask the nice person behind the desk what you should do.

In my state, after the foreclosure, you have to file a new action to evict them. I don’t know of any state where you could come the next day and get rid of their stuff.

Ok, if we’re disregarding the legal ramifications, what are we basing the “SHOULD” in your statement upon?

Are we going by ethical considerations for the squatters? Then give them some time and dignity to move out - hell, give them an apartment to move into and offer to HELP them move.

Are we going by Randian objectivism? Shoot them in the face and take their shit.

Are we going by what’s easiest for you as a person to do? Call up the relatives and let them have a trash-dumping party, or call the cops to evict them and sit on your couch drinking beer and watching the big game.

Seriously - if we’re not taking into account the legal issues (which are real and very complicated and not standard in any way) then there are no guidelines or step-by-step procedures on how someone “SHOULD” be evicted.

This is extremely YMMV, and way too dependent on individual circumstances to even try to give a generalized answer.

The problem is, you cannot disregard the legality. In your hypothetical involving your house in the woods and squatters, the property-law doctrine of adverse possession might come into play, meaning that you could not evict them at all. Or the adverse possession doctrine might not apply, in which case, you could evict them. The only way to know is to consult a lawyer in your jurisdiction, who would be able to tell you for sure; and if it turns out that you could evict them, the lawyer would then tell you what procedures are necessary to do so legally. The situation that you have presented is fact-dependent–in other words, the facts of this particular situation determine the laws that apply; and even then, everything is subject to the law of the jurisdiction, which can (and often does) vary between jurisdictions.

As a lawyer who had handled more than a few eviction matters (and I’ve represented landlords, tenants, mortgagors, and mortgagees), I think I can safely say that laws can vary widely depending on the particular situation (rental or mortgage); and consequently, procedures for evicting the occupants vary widely too. I might be able to proceed ex parte in obtaining a court order for eviction (i.e. without the other party being present to state their case as to why I shouldn’t get what my client wants), or I might not. It might just take a court order to evict in a particular situation, or circumstances might be such that it also requires a writ of possession. These are just a couple of examples, but I hope they illustrate how things can vary within a single jurisdiction, let alone between jurisdictions.

In short, there is no single answer to your question, Saint Cad, and I hope you also understand now that even a generalized answer would not adequately provide guidance. As I hope you can see, the best answers to your questions would come from a lawyer licensed to practice in your jurisdiction.

I had no clue that saying “Get out!” to someone who had no legal right to the property was so complicated. Would I have the right upon taking ownership to enter the premises and document the condition before starting eviction proceedings (in case they trash the place) or is that another “depends on your state” question?

Now that you own the property, and they say they’re living there congratulations! You now have tenants, and all the rights and laws associated with renters.

Well, hang on. As I indicated above, they may have a legal right to the property. Or, they may be given (by a court order or statute, say) a legal right to the property for a certain period of time before they must vacate. In my jurisdiction, for example (and note that I am not speaking for any other), statute law states that tenant evictions are done upon 90 days of notice, 14 days of notice, or 24 hours of notice. The latter two can only be done if certain facts are present. Regardless, you will note that in all circumstances, the tenant has the legal right to the property during the notice period. Also note that this is not a mortgage foreclosure situation, the rules for which differ.

This is indeed a “depends on your jurisdiction” question. Again, in my jurisdiction, a landlord can give 24 hours of notice of an intention to enter the premises for any reason, but cannot just show up and demand entry on the spot and at that time. Other jurisdictions may have similar laws, or they may not.

It may help if you think of property as a bundle of rights. As a property owner, you have all the rights to the property–you have the right to enter upon the premises at any time, for example, and the right to sell the property. When you become a landlord or mortgagee, though, you give up certain of those rights (including the right to enter the premises at any time, though you keep the right to sell the property) in exchange for rent/mortgage payments. The rights you give up pass to the tenant or mortgagor, as the case may be. You still own the property, but now you have fewer rights than you did when you had no tenant or mortgagor. It is the rights you have given up that prevent you from doing as you please; and forcing you to use the legal mechanisms that are in place to restore all your rights, thus allowing you to accomplish what you want.

Well then. Just shoot them and put the bodies in the pig sty.

Well there is your false premise. Just because they are not the owner, and just because the owner doesn’t want them there, doesn’t mean they don’t have a legal right to the use of the property for some period of time.

The laws take the point of view that putting people out on the street is worse than depriving the owner of the alternative use of his property. The laws can be perverted in many ways, but the point of them is to allow some time for the tenants to find a suitable alternative.

Maybe that’s my problem with the whole thing. I own the house. There is no - and never was - a lease or contract allowing them to stay there as a tenant and they don’t pay rent. But they get to stay and if they trash the house, they can say it was already like that.

I’m noticing a common thread in this thread; you should consult a lawyer versed in occupancy law in your jurisdiction. The sooner you do so and begin eviction proceedings according to your local law, the less damage they can do.

It really does depend on the state. Every state has different notices that a landlord has to give before entering. Some the requirement is a knock on the door saying Landlord before entering. California requires 24 hour written notice to the tenant and when the landlord knocks before entering the tenant can ask him to come back later at a better time.

In Ca. if a tenant is evicted and does not take his belongings with them then landlord can remove their belongings. But he is responsible for their safe keeping for a period of time.

In Co. With the Sheriff present the land lord can remove the tenants belongings and place them on the sidewalk.

Everyy state is different. So to answer your question “It depends!”
So to answer your question “It depends!”

It’s your land - try burning a cross on it. That’ll learn 'em.