alcoholic drinks alone after being legally removed from home

How to Legally Remove an Alcoholic From Your Home

Alcohol addiction can bring several problems into a person’s home. The alcoholic could be putting others in danger or creating an unhealthy environment for children. While many people recover from alcohol addiction, some people refuse to get help or won’t get help until they face severe consequences. Whether a tenant or a family member, it is important to learn how to legally remove an alcoholic from your home.

While no one wants to be put into this position, there are sober living programs that can provide a safe place for alcoholics to live if they cannot stay at home. Creekside Recovery Residences helps people get back on their feet when they are unable to stay sober while living at home.

Tenant vs. Family Member

When an alcoholic is living at another person’s home, their behaviors could be a cause for concern. For example, they might be disruptive to neighbors or others living in the home. Or, the alcoholic could be at risk of overdose or other negative consequences. Family members, especially children, could be in danger when living with an alcoholic.

No matter the reason, legally removing an alcoholic from your home could look different depending on your relationship with the person.

How to Legally Remove an Alcoholic Tenant

Tenants have some legal protections from being kicked out of rental properties. These protections help people who might otherwise face discrimination by their landlords. Since alcoholism and other substance use disorders (SUD) are considered disabilities, “the Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination in housing and housing-related transactions” due to these disorders. Thus, a landlord must go through the proper eviction channels to remove an alcoholic tenant.

A landlord needs to go through the following steps and must prove that the person broke rules and regulations or poses a threat:

  • Provide a warning. It is best to begin with a verbal warning if you can do so safely. For some people, a warning could get them to turn their behavior around.
  • Get law enforcement involved. If a warning isn’t enough, you might need to report the issue to law enforcement. That way, you can report any illegal activity or safety concerns as you prepare to evict the person.
  • File an eviction notice. Each state and city might have different laws regarding evictions. However, you can file an eviction notice at your local courthouse and consult with legal professionals if an eviction is warranted.

How to Legally Remove an Alcoholic From Your Family Home

Addiction often affects not only the person struggling but those closest to them as well. Unlike a landlord, family members need to consider the impact on their relationship with the alcoholic. They also have to deal with the negative emotions associated with kicking a family member out of the home.

However, when an alcoholic refuses treatment or engages in abusive behaviors driven by their addiction, family members are left with few options. Depending upon your relationship, your approach may vary. Still, you want to begin by getting legal advice and support from others.

Consult an Attorney and Get Support

It is best to get legal help when you need a family member to leave your home. Unlike a tenant, who is bound to follow the rules and regulations of a lease, families don’t have such documents. Therefore, it helps to talk to an attorney about when, why, and how to legally remove an alcoholic from your home.

In addition to legal counsel, get support from other family members, loved ones, and rehab professionals. Removing an alcoholic from your home can be challenging and emotionally draining—especially for a family member. You can also seek support from a therapist or a support group for families of alcoholics, such as Al-Anon.

Children (Under 18)

According to the Partnership to End Addiction, children or teens struggling with alcohol addiction could be involuntarily committed to addiction treatment in many states. Hopefully, a parent doesn’t need to resort to legally removing their child from their home to attend rehab, however, sometimes, this is what it takes.

Adult Children Living at Home

Unlike children under the age of 18, parents are not legally required to provide the needs of their adult children. Therefore, you can legally remove any adult children living in your home—especially if their behavior is disruptive or violent.

Abusive Spouse or Parent

If the alcoholic in your home is abusive toward any family members—whether this is physical, emotional, or sexual abuse—you can file an order of exclusive occupancy. You will need to gather evidence of the abuse to ensure that you can build a case for the order to go through.

Can I Get a Loved One into a Sober Living Home?

If there is abuse in your home, you must consider your safety or the safety of others in your home and evict your loved one. But, if your loved one is willing to enter treatment, there are options for them. Sober living homes are a great place for alcoholics to get a fresh start as they learn the skills they need to maintain long-term sobriety. Most homes require residents to attend an outpatient rehab program during their stay.

However, if your loved one is actively drinking, they should enter a detox or other form of inpatient rehab before sober living. You can reach out to professionals about their programs, what type of insurance they accept, and what type of program your loved one needs. In some cases, rehab professionals can meet you and your loved one during an intervention.

Overall, if your loved one is willing to get help, it is best to help them find treatment options rather than evict them without a plan. But, no matter what, you must be firm and set limits on what behaviors you will allow in your home.

Find Help for an Alcoholic Living in Your Home Today

When an alcoholic is living in your home, you might be concerned about their safety as well as your own. Sometimes, family members must put limits on their loved one’s behavior and remove them from their homes. On the other hand, a landlord might need to evict a tenant due to problematic behaviors like unpaid rent or destruction of property while under the influence.

Regardless of the reason, legally removing an alcoholic from your home isn’t easy. If you are concerned about a family member or tenant struggling with alcohol addiction, a sober living program might be the best option for them when they can no longer live in your home.

Contact Creekside Recovery Residences today to find solutions for the alcoholic in your life.

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