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Evicting your roommate


You can interview roommates till you're blue in the face (although it's probably best not to). But you never know if they're going to stop paying the rent until it happens. If your roommate turns out to be unreliable you may need to look into getting them evicted.

Before you get into any kind of eviction procedure, try to work things out amicably. Eviction is an extreme tactic to use if you haven't spoken about the issues first. If there are other roommates living with you try to find a time for everyone to sit down and discuss it together, so you don't have to handle it on your own.

If that doesn't work, you need to look into how to get rid of the non-paying roommmate. If they refuse to leave voluntarily then you may need to move to a formal eviction proceeding. What form this takes depends on whether his or her name is on the lease.

Roommate's name isn't on the lease

If your roommate isn't named on the lease they don't have any formal legal right to stay. In the this case you can simply kick them out.

Roommate's name is on the lease

If your roommate is named on the lease then they're a co-tenant and probably share the rights to living in the apartment with you (and anyone else who's on the lease).

If you have a joint lease you're jointly responsible for the rent and only the landlord can evict the roommate in this case. Where a roommate in this situation stops paying their rent, other tenants may be responsible for paying his or her part as well as their own, but may be able to sue the unreliable roommate for their unpaid amount.

Before you talk to any lawyers, talk to your landlord; they may be able to help. If you're seen as a good and reliable tenant the landlord will probably want to help you stay and get rid of the non-payer

This can be difficult to achieve, but you may be able to persuade the landlord that the roommate in question is refusing to pay their part of the rent and has violated terms of the agreement. Your landlord can act as a mediator to help settle the dispute.

Remember, it's not in your landlord's interest either if someone isn't paying the rent.

Check your legal rights and local state tenant laws before proceeding. If you unlawfully harass or force your roommate to leave you may be creating legal trouble for yourself. You could end up with criminal charges in court if you threaten or are violent towards your roommate.

Do things properly - write a letter asking your roommate to leave. Putting the request (and any further communications) in writing will give you backup should the case go to court.


Disclaimer - This is for general information purposes only and shouldn't be treated as legal advice. We recommend you consult an experienced Landlord Tenant attorney if you need specific legal advice.