Ask Yetta: How Do I Kick Out My Ex’s Brother?


Dear Yetta,

A couple months ago my girlfriend’s little brother moved to New York and we agreed to let him stay in our spare room for free until he found his footing. A month ago my girlfriend and I broke up and she moved out, but guess what she forgot? Her freeloading baby bro.

His sister left and took her half of the rent with her, so I need to find someone to lease that room and I don’t want it to be him. He’s refused to leave. I’ve thought about just changing the locks, but I’ve been told the only way to get him out was to evict him. What should I do?

-Reluctant Roomie

Dear RR,

Legal advice aside, you should talk to your ex about this and see if she can give him a place in her new apartment. New York is a tough place and no one should be put out in the cold. And no, you can’t just kick him out, since he’s established residency and the law protects people from getting turned out in the streets.

If that doesn’t work, talk to an attorney about initiating a Holdover proceeding. It’s a process that entails filing a lawsuit in court to have him legally forced to leave. If you’re successful you’ll get a warrant of eviction and you can call the marshal to remove him. It’s a long process and there’s no guarantee of success, so you should do your best to resolve this without having to involve the courts.

Consider this a lesson for the next time you let someone live in your home. Be sure to have an understanding with your roomie in advance, hopefully in writing, so everyone is on the same page. Good luck.

Email questions to to or call 212-253-6911.

*This column is not a consultation with an attorney and should in no way be construed as such or as a substitute for such consultation. Anyone with legal issues or concerns should seek the advice of her own attorney.

© 2012 GO NYC MEDIA LLC. All rights reserved. Reprinted with permission. See original here.