Unlawful Detainer Definition and Legal Meaning

On this page, you'll find the legal definition and meaning of Unlawful Detainer, written in plain English, along with examples of how it is used.

What is Unlawful Detainer?

(n) Unlawful Detainer is the person or entity who detain the control and possession of an immovable property without having an ownership right or right for possession. For example tenant not vacating the building after expiry of tenancy

History and Meaning of Unlawful Detainer

Unlawful detainer is a legal term that has its roots in English Common Law. It refers to a situation in which a person or entity is occupying or possessing someone else's property without any legal right to do so. This can include cases where a tenant remains in possession of a rental property after their lease has expired, or where a squatter has taken up residence in a vacant property that does not belong to them. In such cases, the rightful owner may file a lawsuit to evict the unlawful detainer and reclaim possession of their property.

Examples of Unlawful Detainer

  1. John's lease for his apartment ended on December 31st, but he refused to vacate the premises. As a result, his landlord filed an unlawful detainer lawsuit against him.
  2. After Mary's father passed away, she moved into his house without permission and began living there rent-free. Mary's siblings filed an unlawful detainer lawsuit to force her out of the property.
  3. A group of homeless individuals set up a makeshift camp on a piece of private property without the owner's consent. The property owner filed an unlawful detainer lawsuit to remove them.

Legal Terms Similar to Unlawful Detainer

  1. Eviction: a legal process by which a landlord can remove a tenant from a rental property.
  2. Squatter: a person who occupies vacant property without the owner's permission.
  3. Trespass: the act of entering someone else's property without authorization.
  4. Ejectment: a legal action that allows a property owner to recover possession of their property from someone who is wrongfully occupying it.