How to Legally Get Rid of a House Guest That Won’t Leave
You invite family or a friend to come to spend a few days, maybe a week with your family for the holidays. You offer the guest room and then they overstay their welcome, what can you do? You ask nicely when they are leaving or hint around that they need to leave. According to some of the Texas landlord/tenant laws, you'll have to find a legal way to have them removed and or evicted, yes evicted from your residence.
Surprisingly, the latter is closer to the truth than you think. In Texas, your invitation to have them stay at your residence may have established what is known in the Lone Star State as a "landlord/tenant relationship." If that is the case, then your houseguest may have the same protections under the law as a tenant, due to your agreement to allow them to stay at your residence.
According to the Texas State Law Library's FAQ, The fact is, this may all be legal even if there is no written lease agreement. Surprisingly, more and more people are becoming aware of this little-known fact and if your guest claims to live there, you are now going to have to treat them as a tenant (as seen in the above video).
Texans love to say, Welcome and make yourself at home here.
We Texans are way too friendly, and here's why I say that. How many times have we invited someone into our homes and said these very words: "Welcome, make yourself at home here." While we are just trying to be overly friendly and accommodating, it is those words that may get us into a legal and binding contract.
Again, you will need to find either legal counsel or get the proper paperwork to have the unwanted guest removed. In Texas, it doesn't matter what the relationship you have with the guest is, to remove the tenant you must follow the steps in the Texas Eviction Laws.
Do not change locks nor remove belongings because you'll be violating their tenant rights.
Furthermore, DO NOT remove their personal belongings or change the locks. If you do, your unwanted guest may have the upper hand and a real legal reason to sue you, as they now have the same protections as a tenant in accordance with Texas tenant/landlord laws.
If you cannot work out an agreement with your unwanted guest, you'll need to take the same steps as a landlord to have them removed. I get a lot of my preliminary questions answered when I go to the Texas State Law Library online, and while I get answers from there I always seek legal council and I do as my lawyer advises (trust me, in my opinion, a good lawyer is worth their weight in gold).
Finally, the next time you have family and or friends over to visit or maybe stay a day or two whether it's for holidays, funerals, or weddings remember, do not say "make yourself at home" because, with today's society, many will.