If you are considering evicting a roommate, you should find out eviction law first so that you avoid getting into legal trouble. The first detail that you should know is that you cannot evict your roommate if he or she is on the lease with you. Your landlord is the only person who can evict in such a case. However, if you are subletting to your roommate, and he or she is not on the lease, you do have some recourse.
Evicting a Roommate Not on the Lease
Whether you own a home or are subletting an apartment to a roommate, if that person did not sign the original lease, you have the right to evict legally. Note that this does not mean that you can throw the roommate's things outside or change the door locks, and such actions will likely land you in legal trouble.
Instead, you need to find out the eviction law in your state, and then file an eviction lawsuit. You will then need to have the roommate served with an official eviction notice, typically through either certified mail or a sheriff. Your roommate will have the opportunity to either move out within the specified number of days, or go to court to fight the order.
What To Do If Your Roommate Is On the Lease
If your roommate's name is on the lease like yours is, then only your landlord can evict. In such a case, you will need to try to convince your landlord that the roommate's presence is a danger to you, the community, or the property. If your landlord is sympathetic to your situation, he or she may remove the roommate's name from the lease, and then start proceedings according to the eviction law in your state.
On the other hand, some landlords may not take any action since they might not want to get in the middle. This is especially the case if your main problem with your roommate is nonpayment of rent. The landlord knows that if your roommate does not pay the rent, you will have to pay it yourself, or you can both be evicted. Therefore, many landlords will not evict simply due to nonpayment by one roommate, as they know they will likely get their money anyway.
Talk to a Lawyer To Find Out Eviction Law
If you are motivated to get rid of a roommate who does not live up to your expectations, the best thing to do is to contact a local lawyer to find out your options. Threatening your roommate, throwing out their belongings, and even handing them an official eviction notice without going through the proper procedure can all be illegal. You can avoid fines and other legal consequences by simply talking to a lawyer about eviction law, and then attempting to work with your landlord.