Having a roommate can be beneficial, as they can help you manage expenses and do housework. However, if your roommate's actions start to trouble you and your attempts to resolve the issue through negotiations or compromises have failed, now is the time to consider eviction. While this should only be adopted as a last resort, there are times when it becomes necessary. If your roommate becomes aggressive or violent, no longer pays the rent or the bills, or has started participating in criminal activity, eviction may well be the only option available to keep you safe.
Part 1 of 3: Starting the eviction process
Step 1. Check your lease to know your responsibilities and rights
Before taking any action, you must review your lease. Study it carefully to determine your rights. The eviction conditions are always mentioned in the lease. The resources and options differ depending on whether you are the tenant or the owner.
- If you are the landlord and your roommate is your tenant, you are in a better position than if you were not the landlord.
- If you are both renters, your roommate's violating the terms of the contract could also put you at risk of eviction.
- If your roommate does not represent a party on the lease and you let him in the room without the approval of the landlord, your situation is a little more precarious.
- If your name isn't on the contract, but your roommate's is there, you have very few resources to evict him.
Step 2. Determine the source of your roommate's eviction
Losing someone's liking is often not a valid reason for expelling them. In fact, you must have a legal reason which is stipulated in the contract that the person signed. If there was no rental agreement, then you should have a strong legal case for evicting someone. These different reasons may lead you to kick him out.
- Your roommate no longer pays the rent as specified in the contract.
- He engages in illegal activities (such as drug use or violence) in your home.
- He caused property damage in the apartment and did nothing to repair it.
- He violated other clauses in the lease and did nothing to rectify the situation.
Step 3. Chat with your roommate
After you have carefully reviewed your rental agreement and understood your position, you should talk to your roommate about their departure. Most reasonable people will react to this approach and decide to leave if they can. If you start the eviction process without telling your roommate, it might upset them and cause them to stick in more just to upset you.
- Allow him to express himself. Find a quiet, convenient time and tell her you want to talk to her about something important.
- Instead of telling him you want him out, explain your feelings and position to him instead. Tell your roommate that everything he has done or is doing puts you in an awkward position and that you are not proud of it.
- Refrain from making accusations, and talk about your feelings instead. Never make baseless accusations.
- Be polite and avoid name calling. Tell him that you would very much appreciate it if he could respect your position and help you remedy the situation. Also explain to him that his departure would suit you as well as him. Speak in terms of mutual benefit.
Step 4. Chat with the owner
Do this if you have no right to the property. If the premises do not belong to you, you should speak with the landlord as soon as possible to decide to take action against your roommate. As the second legal entity in the contract, your landlord has the right to order the eviction of your roommate if they have violated the terms of the lease.
Step 5. Check national laws regarding tenants
Before making any physical arrangements to evict your roommate from the property, you should consult the laws in your area or country regarding tenant rights. Several regions have passed laws granting important rights to tenants as well as to people living on properties that do not belong to them. If you break these laws, you may be giving your roommate more power than you in your effort to evict him.
- The rental fee varies from region to region. The courts in your area can advise you on the specific steps to take to evict a roommate.
- Some regions or cities are more compassionate towards tenants than others. If you live in one of these jurisdictions, you will have a hard time evicting your roommate.
- Contact a lawyer if you have any questions about the protection the laws offer to tenants.
Step 6. Gather evidence regarding its activities
In order to strengthen your eviction effort, you should collect any information or evidence of your tenant’s actions that may lead to their eviction. If he is doing something dangerous or illegal in the house, provide proof. If he has missed his share of the rent or bills, be sure to keep receipts or records of unpaid amounts.
- Don't violate your roommate's privacy when collecting evidence.
- Don't spy on him or violate his privacy.
- Avoid any activity that could cause him to act violently.
Part 2 of 3: make legal arrangements
Step 1. Hire the services of a lawyer
This could be your best recourse if, despite your discussion with your roommate, he refuses to leave. A lawyer can make it easier for you and make sure your effort to get rid of an unwanted roommate is legal, while also making sure everything goes as smoothly as possible.
- You could undertake a legal eviction yourself, but it could take time.
- Legal fees could be outrageous, so explore several avenues.
- If you decide not to hire a lawyer to handle the eviction process, it would be a good idea to make an appointment for just one consultation with a lawyer so that the latter will inform you of the steps you need to take.
Step 2. Write an eviction notice
Do this if you decide to take the lead yourself. Write an eviction notice to formally summon your tenant to vacate the premises. This notice represents legal and official testimony to your intention. Several things must be mentioned in your eviction notice.
- It should include the reasons for the eviction and specific breaches of the rental agreement.
- It must specify the notice of your roommate. This is usually one month depending on the laws governing your region or country.
- The eviction notice must include your name and that of the tenant.
- It should also include the home address and a description of the room in question (eg second room on the right on the second floor).
- It must include the date on which the notice was given as well as the date on which the tenant must vacate the premises.
Step 3. Present the eviction notice to your roommate
As the landlord, you will now present the notice to your tenant. Depending on the laws in your area, there are a number of ways you can do this.
- Give him the notice in person.
- Hang the notice on your front door or his.
- Send the note to him by registered mail.
- Some areas may require hand delivery of the eviction notice along with written confirmation that the tenant has received it. Check the laws in your area before sending the letter.
- Depending on the laws of the region or your country, even people who are not homeowners have the right to issue an eviction notice.
Step 4. Go to a judge if your roommate refuses to leave
If you give your roommate an eviction notice and he refuses to leave, you can go to the judge. At this point, they will review your contract and listen to your complaints as well as your roommate's version. He will then make a decision and rule in your favor or in favor of your roommate.
- Before the judge, you may have the opportunity to present the evidence you have gathered about your tenant's breach of the contract.
- Very often, if the judges have a reason, they decide in favor of the owner.
- Obeying the law, documenting your case and doing everything right are all steps that will greatly increase your chances of finding a favorable outcome in court.
- Judges often allow a reasonable amount of time for the tenant to vacate the house after their eviction.
Part 3 of 3: evict your roommate
Step 1. Call the police to carry out the eviction
If your roommate persists in staying even though you have given them the notice and the judge has ordered them out, you will have to call the police to enforce the eviction.
- Don't try to get your roommate out on your own.
- Usually, you have 72 hours after a court decision to vacate the premises.
- It would be best to avoid your roommate or not have prolonged conversations with them after the court has handed down their verdict.
Step 2. Watch your roommate as he leaves the premises
While you may think you've won it all, nothing is over yet until your roommate leaves and you change the locks. Horrible things can happen in the 72-hour interval between a court-ordered eviction and when the person is forced to leave by law enforcement (unless they leave from voluntarily). Your roommate might:
- cause material damage in the house,
- appropriate your personal belongings,
- try to slander yourself to your neighbors.
Step 3. Give it time to move
Once you have done everything to ensure that your roommate is legally evicted, you must give them time to vacate the premises. In most cases, an evicted person has a certain amount of time to collect their belongings and leave the property of their own accord. Take these factors into account.
- In many places, people have 72 hours after the eviction is pronounced to vacate the premises.
- If you force the person to leave without giving them the allotted time, you could face a trial.
- The time a person has to leave a home after being officially evicted there is described by the laws of your region or country or the judge in charge of the case.
Step 4. Don't overstep your authority
All tenants of a residence, whether they have a rental agreement or not, have certain rights. Most jurisdictions protect any tenant from being kicked out of or denied entry to their place of residence without proper scrutiny by the judicial system. In many cases, there are things you shouldn't be doing.
- Don't change the locks. While it might seem like a great idea to simply change the locks, chances are the law will consider this to be an illegal act.
- Don't go after his business. You might be tempted to throw all of your roommate's belongings out on the street. Be aware that this is not the right thing to do, as it is illegal in many jurisdictions.
- Do not cut its facilities. You might be tempted to force her hand by turning off the water and power. In many jurisdictions, this is illegal.
- If you're in doubt about what you shouldn't do, check local laws and regulations or contact a lawyer.
- You also have the option of hiring the services of an eviction company. These companies deal with all aspects of the eviction of roommates including eviction notice and removal of belongings during eviction day.
- If your roommate causes damage to the house between receiving the eviction notice and leaving, be sure to photograph or video record the damage as irrefutable evidence.
- If your roommate gets aggressive, you may want to speed up the eviction process. Contact the police and file a report whenever he causes property damage or becomes aggressive. This will create a case that you can submit to the court in order to speed up the eviction process.