My ex-boyfriend refuses to move out, even though I own the place. How can I get him to leave?

My ex-boyfriend refuses to move out, even though I own the place. How can I get him to leave?
Samantha Lee/Insider

My ex-boyfriend refuses to move out, even though I own the place. How can I get him to leave?
Crystal Cox/Insider

  • Your ex has already violated your physical and emotional boundaries, and that's not OK. You shouldn't explain to him why you want him to leave, but simply tell him one last time that he needs to move.
  • Explain that, if he doesn't leave your home, you will have to get the police involved. If you feel physically unsafe, talk to someone at a domestic violence hotline first.
  • You could also take legal action by going to housing court, either with a lawyer or by yourself.
  • Have a question for Julia? Fill out this anonymous form. All questions will be published anonymously. You can read more Doing It Right here.

After four years of living with my partner we've broken up, but he refuses to move out.

In the beginning of our relationship, he said he wanted a future together, but now he doesn't. At the same time, he doesn't want to move out and let me move on with my life.

I own my home that we live in, I have a 5-year-old son, and I am definitely not going to be the one to move out.

Every time I ask him to leave, he says I'm being negative and I will end up old and alone. How can I get him out for good?


- Illinois

Dear Illinois,

I'm so sorry that your ex isn't respecting your emotional boundaries or your property.

It seems like reasoning with him is impossible at this point, so you should give him one last opportunity to leave on his own.

You don't need to explain why you need him to leave, New York City-based therapist Kelly Scott told me, only that he must be gone by a certain date.


"I think the best thing to do is just to be very straightforward and say, 'This relationship is over. It doesn't sound like you're respecting my right to end the relationship and also my right to make decisions about my property,'" Scott said.

Then, tell him the date you need him to leave, whether that's by the end of the day or in the next few weeks.

Scott said it's also important to make him aware of consequences if he doesn't leave when asked. You could say you'll call the police, for example, and if he doesn't listen, be sure to follow through with that consequence.

If you're at all worried that your ex could physically lash out at your demand, Scott suggested contacting a domestic violence hotline before approaching him. They can offer resources and advice for how to proceed safely with removing your ex from your home.

What to do if things escalate

You could also take legal action against your ex, though doing so could be costly and time consuming.


According to New York City-based divorce and family lawyer Michael Moscarello, lawyers in the area charge $350/hour or more, so it'd be at least a few thousand dollars for the entire process. Since you're based in Illinois, it could be a bit more affordable, but is certainly not a small amount.

To save money, you could proceed without a lawyer. According to Moscarello, housing court, compared to other courts, is fairly clear for a layperson to navigate on their own.

"It's a relatively straightforward action, right? You are going into court telling a judge, 'This person lives with me. It's a home that I own, our romantic relationship is over, and I want them out.' As the owner of the property, you're presumed to have the right to say who lives and who doesn't live in your house," he said.

The only caveat is that your ex may ask for more time to move out than you'd like, or might not show up to the proceeding, which can draw out the process over many months, Moscarello said.

Sometimes, to expedite an eviction, a person will settle with their ex out of court, offering to pay moving fees or rent for an ex's new place if they're unable to afford it. Of course, those costs would fall on you too.


None of these options are ideal, but they can help you find relationship peace, something you wholeheartedly deserve, in the safest and most resourceful way possible.

As Insider's resident sex and relationships reporter, Julia Naftulin is here to answer all of your questions about dating, love, and doing it — no question is too weird or taboo. Julia regularly consults a panel of health experts including relationship therapists, gynecologists, and urologists to get science-backed answers to your burning questions, with a personal twist.

Have a question? Fill out this anonymous form. All questions will be published anonymously.