Did you have a roommate move in that you are dying to get rid of? Sometimes people have someone move in to help with bills, but don't realize that they can't just kick the new guest out if things aren't working. If your roommate isn't on the lease, that doesn't mean that you can just tell them to go. You have to take the proper steps to evict your roommate. Here is how to legally evict a roommate who refuses to leave.
Check the tenant laws for your state
The laws for tenants vary by state. One state may require you to give your tenant/roommate two weeks notice, while another state may require a 30 day notice. Minnesota, for example, requires the notice to be given by the day before the following month of rent is due. The tenant will have to be allowed to stay the entire following month as long as rent is paid. If you are a renter and put your roommate on your lease, you will have to enlist help from your landlord or eviction services. If you landlord agrees to evict, he or she will have to follow the agreement on your lease.
Like most rules, you can find exceptions. If your roommate is dangerous or bringing illegal drugs or firearms into the home, it is usually considered breaking a lease. You may want to get the police involved so the illegal activity is documented and your roommate can't fight your eviction. Once you have involved the police, file an emergency eviction. Depending on the state, that will have your roommate removed in 24 to 48 hours.
Giving an eviction notice
If your roommate is breaking the rules or isn't paying the bills, you can serve him or her with an eviction notice. You can find eviction forms at your county clerk's office, and sometimes on the county clerk's web site.
The form will have a place to write your roommate's name, and then it will state that you are telling him or her to leave the premises. Next, there will be a place for you to write the date that you roommate has to leave by. You will follow the date with your address/eviction address, and then the grounds you are evicting your roommate on. Lastly, you write the date you are giving the eviction notice along with your name and address.
Here is where it get's tricky. You can give your eviction notice to your roommate in hopes that he or she adheres to it and leaves. However, you will have to file the eviction with the courthouse in order for it to have any legal grounds. To file it with the court, bring the notice to the courthouse and pay the filing fee. The fees vary by state, but you can expect to pay around $100. Once you file, the courthouse will process your eviction and set a court date. This way, if your roommate doesn't leave, he or she will be required to appear at court and the court will force your roommate to leave within 3-7 days. Since court dates can be up to a month away, it is better to file the eviction immediate, not after your roommate should already be out.
Avoiding future problems
Having a stubborn roommate is stressful, and it's best to do whatever you can to avoid problems in the future. Writing up a roommate agreement would be in your best interest. The roommate agreement can state exactly what your roommate is expected to pay and do around the home, along with the rules. State that not abiding by the agreement can result in eviction. It is best to have a lawyer write up the roommate agreement for you to ensure it will hold up in court. Make copies to have on file for future roommates.
You don't have to live with horrible roommates forever. Follow the proper legal channels and file an eviction notice. If you are moving in a new roommate, have a lawyer write up a roommate agreement to avoid future issues.