How to Get Rid of a Roommate Legally

Having a roommate is a good way to save on rent and can provide a pleasant companion if you get along. The wrong roommate, on the other hand, can make your life a living hell. If your roommate trashes your house, breaks house rules or doesn't pay rent and utilities, it can make your housing situation stressful and unpleasant and make it difficult or impossible to meet your financial obligations as a tenant. Try to get your roommate to leave peacefully, but if he won't, evict him.

Sign an agreement with your roommate before she moves in. Include penalties for late payment, rules about chores and rules about evicting the roommate for not obeying the rules. According to the website TenantNet, if your agreement is clearly written and not against the law or public policy, a court will enforce its terms.

Try to come to an agreement with the roommate. If you dislike living with him enough to want to kick him out, he probably doesn't want to live with you either. Try to set a time for him to be out by. If you can agree, get it in writing, preferably with a witness.

Talk to the landlord. If you are the sole person on the lease, you have the right to evict your roommate. Your landlord will know the rules.

Gather documentation of the eviction. Write a record of incidents that have led to the eviction and copies of any agreements you signed with the roommate. Include abusive behaviour, violation of house rules, nonpayment of rent or utilities and other actions by the roommate.

Serve the roommate with an eviction notice. The notice should say what day it is being served on and when the roommate is required to leave. State laws have different requirements for eviction notices. Some require 30 days, while others permit an eviction as soon as 72 hours.

If necessary, sue the roommate. If the roommate still will not leave after being served with a notice, you will have to take her to court


If your roommate destroys your property, assaults you or threatens you with physical harm, call the police and file a restraining order.

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Things Needed

  • Assorted documentation
  • Eviction notice

About the Author

Isaiah David is a freelance writer and musician living in Portland, Ore. He has over five years experience as a professional writer and has been published on various online outlets. He holds a degree in creative writing from the University of Michigan.

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