How to Evict Someone from Your Home—Peacefully

Buying a foreclosed home through an auction may get you a great deal on a house, but it may also come with some unusual complications–like the former owners still living inside.

While the foreclosed owners do have to leave eventually, every new owner fears the worst: They may be tempted to do a little damage on their way out.

As a residential property owner or real estate investor, you probably don’t have the bells, whistles and legal might of an investment hedge fund. For you, this is probably the only time you’ll have to evict someone and you don’t want your new house destroyed in the process.

But it doesn’t have to be a complete headache. You can take some cues from the big boys and borrow a strategy those hedge fund investors and lenders have been successfully using throughout the country to get in-tact homes away from their former owners.

Option 1: Offer to pay the former owners a cash subsidy if they leave the house untouched

You can approach the people and offer a sum of $5,000 or more to leave the house intact. You can put that money in an escrow and let them know that it’s theirs as soon as the property has changed hands without further complications, as long as certain stipulations are met. Let the former owners know that you are sorry that things didn’t work out for them but you’re excited to take good care of their house.

It’s worth it to offer a substantial amount of money because your other option will cost you just as much, if not more. You want the former owners to seriously consider your offer before you move on.

Option 2: Hire an attorney
If the cash subsidy doesn’t work, you’ll want to consult with a real estate attorney. Evicting people is emotionally and legally challenging and it will take a while. The eviction process will cost you in lawyer fees, court fees and a lot of wasted time. And after all that, they may still trash the house on their way out.

This is a very tricky and sensitive situation for all involved. The former owners have probably already seen a lot of heartache with their home and you’ve gone through a lot to get a new house, so proceed carefully and look for amicable solutions instead of legal battles.

To learn more, listen to this week’s Ilyce Glink Show.

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About Ilyce Glink

Author of 13 books, including the bestselling 100 Questions Every First-Time Home Buyer Should Ask. Writer of the nationally syndicated column, “Real Estate Matters.” Top-rated radio host in Atlanta. Writer for CBS Managing editor of the Equifax Personal Finance Blog.
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One Response to How to Evict Someone from Your Home—Peacefully

  1. Audrey says:

    Hello Ilyce, Regarding your article on ‘How To Evict Someone From Your Home—Peacefully’…what if this person is a sibling and her 3 kids are living with my mother, but has no legal ties to the home? My sister occasionally pay rent and utilities, but my mother (at 78 yrs. old) can no longer afford to keep the house on her retirement income. My sister and her kids refuse to move out. She is also in financial straights. This situation is tearing my family apart and causing a lot of stress on my mother. I’m afraid that the stress and verbal abuse are going to kill her. How can I intervene and get my stubborn sister to move out? I’m at a loss as to what to do.

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