If your roommate is temperamental or violent, you need to be careful when trying to evict him from your home. Evicting a dangerous roommate requires having a careful plan and being fully aware of your legitimate rights in relation to your rental agreement. Then, if your roommate poses an imminent threat of physical violence or is potentially dangerous, there are a number of strategies you can use to ensure that you are no longer living with them.
Method 1 of 3: Assess the situation and your rights
Step 1. Objectively examine what your roommate is capable of
When living with someone, it can be difficult to accurately judge what they are likely to do, because you are often blinded by all the feelings that have built up over time. Take stock of the violent incidents that have taken place between you and your roommate. What were the worst fights you had like? Did you come to blows? Did your roommate ever steal from you for revenge? This can help you record violent or dangerous incidents in detail. This way, you can determine exactly which of the following precautions you should take.
- Take legal action and seek outside help, such as the police, to oversee the eviction and removal. This will help if you are pretty sure your roommate will react violently.
- Take legal action to make sure you have as little confrontation as possible with your roommate. It would be the best thing to do if the surest way for you to avoid a dangerous situation is to distance yourself.
- Try to tell your roommate in a courteous manner that it's time to leave. If you are worried that your roommate will act out of anger because you haven't spoken to them directly, or if they haven't been really abusive towards you, just try to deal with the situation yourself..
Step 2. Record all threats and evidence of violence
Despite all the lawsuits you might want to bring against your roommate, a good file that lists evidence of any verbal and physical assault will strengthen your plea. If you really need an injunction against your roommate, you will need to have compelling evidence of the kind of threat he poses.
Step 3. See if you have a legitimate right to evict or not
If you have sublet (unless expressly agreed by the landlord) a room or part of the apartment to your roommate or you are named as the main tenant on the lease, you have the legitimate right to evict your roommate. However, as a sub-lessor or primary tenant, you must comply with state laws that govern the eviction of a tenant. You may need to give notice and go to court.
Step 4. Familiarize yourself with the co-ownership obligations defined in your lease
If the latter takes your name and that of your roommate into account, you cannot evict them. You will then have to resort to other methods, such as contacting your landlord for help in evicting your roommate, since you have no legitimate right to do so on your own.
- If you're the primary tenant and you're the only one paying the rent each month, your roommate doesn't have any legal right to live with you. This is unusual, but it sometimes happens between close friends or during last minute accommodation arrangements. If your roommate's name is not mentioned in the lease at all, fire him based on your estimate of how dangerous you are being with him.
- In most cases, landlords have a condominium lease in which it is specified that all tenants are required to pay the rent. The keyword to search here is joint or more than one bond. If you are jointly responsible, that means you are required to pay the full rent regardless of whether or not your roommate pays. If you are individually responsible, you are only responsible for paying your share of the rent. It is better to be joint and several than to be jointly responsible because while being responsible for all unpaid rents, you still have a legal argument to sue your roommate for the amounts owed.
Step 5. Consult state and local laws that govern tenants' rights
Tenants' rights vary from region to region, and your local court will have information on specific steps to take to evict your roommate. Be aware of the information in the lease so that you understand exactly how these laws apply to the situation between you and your roommate. Search the Internet with the city name plus Renter's Guide for this information, or see this link. There should be a section in the manual that outlines your rental rights with a roommate and details the arrangements for all types of roommate disputes.
Step 6. Inform your landlord of the situation
Tell your landlord that your roommate is dangerous and that it is important that they get evicted as soon as possible. If the latter's name is listed in the lease, it is up to your landlord to advance the eviction process. If your roommate has no responsibility for the property, you can handle the situation without telling your landlord.
- While it may be easier for them to evict anyone from a rental unit, including you, your landlord could file a trespass claim. He may or may not be willing to rectify the eviction process so that you can return to the room, without the eviction not being mentioned on your criminal record.
- Having a new tenant ready to move in can help. So your landlord will know that you will still be able to pay the rent.
- If your landlord lacks compassion, it might be best to break the contract and leave the property yourself. There are often significant fees to pay when you do this, but if your roommate is unsafe and you don't want to involve the authorities, this can turn out to be a good option.
Step 7. Report your roommate to the janitor if you live in a university residence
All universities have different procedures, but all college dorms offer ways to avoid dangerous situations. Students can often inquire with the residence counselor about the appropriate steps to take to change roommates. Consult your university's residential guide or search online for information about changing roommates and reporting unsafe activities on campus (if necessary).
Method 2 of 3: Evict a low-risk roommate
Step 1. Schedule a conversation to discuss the issue
Take your roommate's history of threats and violence into account, think about the best way to let them know they need to move. Do you need to take a logical approach to broaching the subject with your roommate or would it be beneficial if you give them the benefit of the doubt and get their perspective?
Step 2. Consider mediation
We speak of mediation when a neutral third party intervenes to facilitate exchanges between two protagonists. Instead of a professional mediator (often someone with legal experience), try asking a friend or family member who can hold a hearing. Remember, however, that mediation is not an occasion to blame or blame. Rather, act as a mediator to make sure that each individual understands what the other is saying and can be held accountable for that knowledge.
Try to decide ahead of time whether or not you will be open to whatever attempts your roommate will make to persuade you to let him live with you. Be firm on this decision. Highly manipulative people often feign friendliness or promise to change, when they don't intend to keep their word
Step 3. Communicate directly
Make sure you chat in person rather than over the phone or through messages. Be clear about what is annoying you and stand firm about your decision without making threats if your roommate doesn't react as you expected and agrees that leaving is indeed a good decision. Clarify your reasoning by focusing as much as possible on yourself and your needs, and give concrete examples of when and why living in the present situation has proven difficult to manage. Try to blame him as little as possible, and be careful not to expose your feelings of discomfort and discord.
- Understand that it will need adequate notice to find a new habitat. Note that the notice varies depending on the type of rental: it is three months for a bare rental and one month for a furnished rental.
- As tempting as it may be, don't lie about the rights you have. Don't imply that you can legally evict your roommate or make false statements by claiming that your landlord demands that everyone be evicted (if they don't).
- Only threaten legal action if your roommate becomes unsafe or says they won't leave.
Step 4. Offer financial incentives to get your roommate to move
If your finances allow, ease the deal with your roommate by offering them financial incentives that will cause them to move out. Since moving can be expensive, offer to pay her first rent or return the deposit you both paid in advance. At worst, make it clear that they will no longer be responsible for rent payments, no matter what time of the month the move takes place (as long as it happens within the time frame you demand).
By creating a win-win situation, you may be more inclined to act courteously before and during the move
Step 5. Define ground rules to be observed during and during the period leading up to the move
Moving can sometimes take a long time. It will seem even longer if you are dealing with a hostile and aggressive character from your roommate during the interim. Remember that the ground rules will be useless if your roommate does not agree to them. Use the following negotiation principles to find compromises with your roommate.
- Be understanding of the (reasonable) requests your roommate makes to leave. For example, if he asks to keep the toaster you both bought, don't categorically refuse. Validate the request and then decide whether or not you can satisfy it. Choose your battles wisely and remember that the less you argue, the less conflicts you will have to deal with.
- Negotiate potential ground rules knowing that you must compromise if your roommate comes up with demands for his or her early departure at the end of the day.
- Say what you intend to do, not the other way around. So if you want as little contact as possible between you, make it clear to your roommate that you will only speak to him for logistical purposes and only when absolutely necessary. Don't just ask her not to talk to you at all.
Step 6. Be present when your companion moves
This will prevent it from stealing or damaging the things that belong to you. Stay in the vicinity, but remember not to point your nose while he is still there or to watch him, as this could be considered an offense or provocation (because it could give the impression that you suspect criminal behavior).
Method 3 of 3: Evict a very dangerous roommate
Step 1. Find out if your situation could be considered domestic violence
Even if you are not involved in your romantic relationship with your roommate, legal assistance or support from women's shelters can help you determine if your relationship may be categorized as domestic violence. To benefit from extended protection for victims of domestic violence, check with local law enforcement or a women's shelter about the national laws applicable to your situation. Some laws that could be applied take into account the following.
- Non-discrimination and protection against expulsion. In most cities, it is illegitimate to discriminate against someone who is a victim of domestic violence. Therefore, a landlord cannot refuse to rent an apartment to someone (or terminate a rental agreement) just because the individual is a victim of domestic violence.
- Early termination rights. A victim of domestic violence can often terminate a lease on notice (usually one month). In some areas, it is generally required that the tenant provide proof (such as a protection order) of their status as a victim of domestic violence.
- Limits on rental clauses. In some cities, landlords should neither include clauses in the rental agreement to advocate termination when a tenant calls the police in the event of domestic violence, nor require the tenant to pay for such interventions.
- Article 8 of the rights of tenants. In France, this article stipulates that the tenant can neither assign the rental contract nor sublet the accommodation except with the written agreement of the lessor, including on the price of the rent. The latter per square meter of living space of the sublet premises may not exceed that paid by the main tenant. The latter transmits to the sub-tenant the written authorization of the lessor and the copy of the current lease. In the event of termination of the main contract, the sub-tenant may not invoke any rights against the lessor or any title of occupation.
Step 2. Obtain a temporary restriction order
If your roommate has threatened or physically assaulted you, you can get a temporary restraining order from the court that issues an eviction order. This injunction will require your roommate to leave the apartment immediately.
Step 3. Notify your roommate in a letter
Make several copies of the letter that you can put in different places (such as in his mailbox, on his door, on the refrigerator) to make sure he finds and reads it. State the reasons why you want him to move and make it clear that you do not want to discuss the topic. Use professional and direct language so that he understands that there is no possibility of negotiating.
- It can be helpful to lay out your knowledge of legal rights so that your roommate understands that you are not afraid to take legal action right away, if it comes down to it.
- Indicate the specific type of legal action you will take if he refuses to leave or opposes you.
- If you prefer to use an official eviction form, visit this page to download it.Even if you do not have the power to evict your roommate, this notice template can prove to be a real springboard that you can use to have the correct terminology while writing the letter.
Step 4. Provide secure shelter
The hardest part about facing a dangerous roommate is that the things you want to happen quickly take longer. The safest alternative would be to no longer live in the shared abode from the time you send a letter of notice until your roommate moves out. Even if this extra precaution is not possible, try to plan at least two different places where you can stay if you feel uncomfortable in the house.
Try to ask for help from trusted friends, family or coworkers. In the event that staying with others proves difficult, contact SOS Femmes and explain your situation
Step 5. Lock your door
In case your roommate becomes angry and revengeful, make sure you and your valuables are safe by locking your bedroom door. If you're worried that your roommate will come back for revenge after the move, you could take extra precautions such as installing heavy-duty security systems or locks, or replacing wooden frames with metal.
If you still think there is a risk that he will steal from you, ask a friend your roommate doesn't know to watch over your valuables
Step 6. Prepare to move
If you're worried that justice won't help you face your roommate, a good decision would be to limit the damage by moving. Pack your bags discreetly and plan for a day when you'll move quickly and efficiently while making sure your roommate is away.
Be sure to seek help from friends or professional movers so that you can move quickly in the presence of others (as long as you and your roommate have an argument)
Step 7. Take care of yourself
Trouble at home is particularly exhausting, given that you experience it on a regular basis. Make sure during this stressful time to stick to your usual routines as much as possible. As much as possible, sleep normally and maintain a balanced diet. Make sure you surround yourself with friends and relatives who can support you and help you cope.