Maybe you were so desperate for a roommate that you accepted the first one who applied (avoid this!). Perhaps an old relationship went sour or a friendship fell apart. Or maybe you’re frankly just sick of looking at that bowl that’s been in the sink for the last two weeks. What was even in there?!
There are many situations in which one might find oneself wanting to replace one’s roommate. But, can it be done?
The million dollar question
Let’s cut right to the chase: is your roommate listed as a co-tenant on the lease? If the answer is yes, you unfortunately cannot evict him. When it comes to rental properties, the right to evict a tenant is reserved for the owner — that’s your landlord. If the issue is serious enough, you can try explaining it to your landlord, but chances are you’ll have to find a way to stick it out until the end of your lease period.
The alternative to this situation is having a roommate who is a subletter. If you are subleasing the apartment to your roommate — legally, of course — and have just cause, you may be able to begin an eviction process. I can’t stress enough how important it is to ensure that your roommate is an authorized tenant before you begin this process. In other words, your landlord is aware and has approved of the sublease. If you’re subleasing or sharing your apartment without your landlord’s permission, well, just don’t!
Start with a chat
Chances are if you’re reading this you’ve already tried asking nicely, but it’s still worth pointing out as a viable first option. Talking out the specific problem to try to find a solution could lead to a productive conversation that helps both of you understand each other a little bit better. One of three things will happen here: you’ll work it out and stick together (ideal), your roommate will agree that it’s time to leave (easy enough), or your roommate will disagree and you’ll perform a Google search that leads you to this blogpost (hey!).
Check your state laws
Each state has a set of laws that control when a tenant can or cannot be legally evicted, as well as what’s required to do so. To see what these laws and processes are in your state, click here.
If all else fails…
While we highly encourage trying to work it out with your roommate, if the time comes for you to pick up and leave, here’s some information on breaking your lease before it ends.
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Evicting someone who lives with you
What renters need to know about evictions
Is it possible to evict my roommate?