How to Kick Out Your Roommate If She's Not on the Lease

Landlord Protection How to Kick Out Your Roommate If She's Not on the Lease

How to File an Eviction Notice Against Someone Off the Lease 

There comes a time in life when what starts as a beautiful friendship or relationship between what are, in fact, two roommates ends and leaves one wondering if they can kick the other out. The situation can arise in a variety of ways that often involve nonverbal or verbal agreements that occur outside the protection of a lease. DoNotPay is here to answer whether a tenant or landlord can kick out a roommate if she is not on the lease

General Evictions Laws in the United States 

In the United States, there are eviction laws that aim to protect both the rights of tenants and landlords. They tend to reflect or favor the interests of one side or the other in a loose way, but overall, protections exist for both parties. Depending on the political climate, a state might favor the landlords or the tenants more frequently. The average person doesn't have to contend with how the court tends to trend, and instead, is only going to worry about how their particular case will play out. Your specific area and the reasons you have for eviction will both determine if you can kick out a roommate if she is not on the lease.

Valid Reasons to Evict Roommates 

Now, most people find themselves in a strange legal gray area when it comes to kicking out a roommate not on the lease. When lease agreements stipulate that only the leaseholder can be the sole occupant of the property, most people think that means that people can simply be kicked out on that basis alone. They believe that people not on the lease aren't entitled to the same type of protection under the law when it comes to eviction. Technically, this is not true and the person cannot be evicted without what many state laws deem just cause, or a good reason.

Here’s a quick breakdown of common valid and invalid reasons to consider eviction:

Valid ReasonsValid reasons to evict someone include: 

  • They are breaking a clause in the lease, exempting the one about their occupancy, since they are now entitled to their own legal protections as tenants. 
  • Having a pet when the lease forbids it
  • The person is not honoring the payment of the rental agreement. 
  • The person is not paying and does not reside in a state covered by eviction moratorium laws. 
  • The person is knowingly and intentionally damaging the property.
  • The person is committing crimes as an occupant. 

In other words, there are currently some exemptions with the Coronavirus in the United States that make it harder to start the eviction process with tenants. Many courts that no longer uphold the Eviction Moratorium are still closed except for high-priority cases, with many cases concerning evictions not being considered relevant. 

Invalid ReasonsInvalid reasons to evict someone include: 

  • The person is a bad roommate or no longer the individual's romantic partner. 
  • Being a “bad roommate,” including being nosy, being dirty, or stealing food. This would not violate the grounds of the lease. 
  • When a relationship ends, one roommate might wish to kick the other out. However, except in cases of domestic violence and where crimes have occurred, the other person still has a right to occupancy. 
  • The roommate is not paying rent, but they are not on the rental agreement.

The last one is tricky because the nonverbal agreement may concern the leaseholder, but if the person not on the lease doesn't pay them, then it's not truly considered nonpayment of rent according to the lease. Nonpayment of rent according to the lease would be nonpayment of rent to the landlord themselves, not the person on the lease who rents to the landlord. 

Do You Have the Legal Power to Evict Your Roommate? 

It can be extremely perplexing to figure out how to evict your roommate, even when it seems like it would be easy to evict them since they aren't on the lease. Most people don't know that people who aren't on a contract still have what's called renter's rights. As people who have renter's rights, though, it's still possible to eventually kick them out. However, you have to follow the due process and give them notice. 

The proper process to giving them legal notice of eviction is:

  1. Write a letter to the roommate saying that you are terminating the arrangement and the date it ends. 
  2. The earliest the eviction process can begin is in 30 days. Therefore, this is called a 30-day notice. 
  3. Do not attempt to engage in illegal activity like harassment campaigns or lock them out before the notice is up. 
  4. Take them to court if they do not comply with the 30-day notice. 

How to Evict Someone Not on the Lease With DoNotPay

Given how hectic the court system is right now and how complicated actually taking someone to court becomes, DoNotPay understands how difficult evicting a roommate can be even when it's not in the middle of a pandemic. If you need help evicting a roommate, we can guide you through the specific state and, sometimes, municipal laws that will help rid you of the roommate legally. Eviction law is complicated, so we are here to help. 

If you want to evict your roommate and don't know where to start, DoNotPay has you covered in 4 easy steps:

1. Search for and open the Landlord Protection product on DoNotPay.

 

2. Select which issue applies to you.

 

3. Answer a simple set of questions so our chatbot can collect the necessary information to create your demand letter.

 

4. Choose whether you want DoNotPay to send the demand letter to your landlord or roommate on your behalf. If you already tried sending a demand letter and it didn't work, we can help you start the small claims court process.

 

And that's it. You should hear back from your tenant directly once your demands are sent.

What Else Can DoNotPay Do to Help Tenants?

As part of our Landlord Protection series, we can help you with:

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