It was supposed to be just a few weeks. That was the deal. Your college friend Trisha was blindsided by her husband filing for divorce and needed a place to crash until she could find her own apartment. She's always been a bit of a mess, but you couldn't turn your back on a friend in need, right?
Now "a few weeks" has turned into eight months. In the beginning, she at least pretended to browse Craigslist for cheap sublets and part-time work, but now she doesn't do much of anything, unless binge-watching Netflix can be considered a full-time job.
You finally work up the nerve to ask Trisha to leave. Your place is just too small and your boyfriend thinks she's a leech, eating all your food and never offering a dime for groceries, let alone rent. You break the news gently to Trisha; she has to be out by the end of the month.
And then she breaks the news to you: Nope, she's staying.
"This situation is more common than you might think," says Janet Portman, an attorney and executive editor at legal website Nolo. "And the law isn't terribly helpful to the people who are doing the kicking out."
Technically, getting rid of a freeloading friend should be a cinch, says Portman, the co-author with Marcia Stewart of "Every Landlord's Legal Guide." House guests who have overstayed their welcome have no legal right to stay at your property. Nobody wants to call the cops on an old college friend, but a house guest who refuses to leave is trespassing, which is a crime.