Generally, eviction cases do not hit the media. However, when the landlords are forced to involve the court system to evict their son, the story will get play. A New York Supreme Court judge recently ordered the eviction of a 30-year-old man from his parents’ home. Michael Rotondo had lived in a room in his parents’ home for the past 8 years. His parents left him five written notices to leave the premises within two weeks before involving the court. They provided advice for their son in the notices, as well as $1,100 to find a new place. Some of the parental advice included the following:
- Sell the other things you have that have any significant value, (e.g., stereo, some tools, etc.). This is especially true for any weapons you may have. You need the money and will have no place for the stuff.
- There are jobs available even for those with a poor work history like you. Get one—you have to work!
After the proposed move-out date passed, the parents decided to begin the formal eviction process. In court, Michael argued that he should be entitled six months’ notice before being evicted from the premises. He wasn’t paying his parents rent. Michael claimed that for the past 8 years, he had never been expected to contribute to the household expenses or assist with chores. After a hearing on the matter, State Supreme Court Justice Greenwood ultimately ordered Michael to move out of the home. He officially moved out of the parents’ home four hours before the ordered deadline.
Now how would this situation play out in Michigan? It depends on the agreement between Michael and his parents. Because there was no written lease or monthly rent payment obligation, Michael would likely be considered a tenant by sufferance. Michael’s parents, as his landlords, could terminate a tenancy by sufferance by giving Michael one month’s notice to quit. MCL 554.134(1). For a more detailed discussion, please see chapter 6, “Summary Proceedings to Recover Possession of Premises” in Michigan Lease Drafting and Landlord-Tenant Law for more information.