by Ellen Mason, J.D., Hotline Attorney
Your friend, Jane, has been living in your house with you. She hasn’t been paying rent and she didn’t sign a lease. Yesterday, you had a fight with her and now you want her out. Can you change the locks on your house or just toss her belongings out?
No. Michigan law considers Jane a tenant even though she’s never paid rent or never signed a lease. And, if Jane takes you to court, the court may make you pay her damages.
So what can you do if you want someone out of your house? Three things:
- You can ask the person to leave; or
- You can evict the person; or
- You can get a Personal Protection Order (PPO).
Because two of these things involve court procedures, you may want to consult an attorney, but here’s an overview.
Ask the person to leave
If you feel uncomfortable or unsafe asking the person to leave, or if the person refuses to leave, you’ll have to try one of the other two options.
Evict the person
This is only an option if the other person’s name is not on the deed or the lease. And it’s going to take a while, but it’s the only legal way to get someone who won’t leave out of your house. Here are the steps:
- Give the person a “30-day Notice” to leave. You can get the form online or from a district court.
- If the person does not leave, sue the person. Get the form from the district court. You have to pay a filing fee and actually appear in court on a date assigned by the court.
- If the court orders the other person to leave, but the person still won’t leave, you’ll have to go to court again and get an Order of Eviction.
Personal Protection Order (PPO)
You need to go to court to get a PPO. There are two main types of PPOs:
- You can get protection from abuse or assault from a person who lives in the same place as you; or,
- You can get protection from being stalked once the person moves out of your house but has committed at least two “stalking acts.” Get more information how to get a PPO online or from your county clerk.
Don’t feel bad
Don’t feel bad about wanting a person to leave. Remember: it’s your house!