Roommate eviction notice

Roommate eviction notice DEFAULT

I live with roommates. One of them wants me out. Can I get evicted right now?

When a tenant allows somebody to move in as a roommate, that new roommate has no rights under the existing lease. And the roommate is not protected by the main law protecting tenants in BC, the Residential Tenancy Act. It’s a different story if the new roommate is added to the lease, or everyone signs a new lease. But absent either of those steps, your legal rights are limited.

For example: the roommate on the lease may be able to take faster action to kick you out than a landlord could. They wouldn't have to give you the notice required under the lease. They would have to give you reasonable notice to evict you. But this can be quite limited, as we explain here.

And if the roommate kicks you out, you can't challenge the eviction at the Residential Tenancy Branch. You would have to go to court (or actually, this online tribunal, which handles disputes under $5,000). And that will take time, the amount of money you may win is not assured, and you’ll still have to find a new place to live.

What else could you do?

  • If you're worried something might happen, prepare for a conversation with your roommate. Know what you want to get out of it. Get your talking points ready.

  • Talk to your roommate. Understand what concerns they may have. Listen. Try to come up with an action plan together.

  • See if the landlord is willing to put you on the lease. With their backing, it may be easier to convince your roommate to allow you to stay.

  • If they ask you to sign something, take your time and read it carefully. Perhaps ask a friend or lawyer to review it. You don't have to sign right away.

Trying to come up with a practical solution with your roommate, and possibly directly with the landlord, could be your best bet. But given you’re in a tough situation when it comes to your legal rights, you could consider trying to make alternative living arrangements as soon as possible.

David Kandestin

People's Law School

  • Reviewed in March 2021

  • This information applies to British Columbia, Canada


How to Evict A Roommate in California

Sometimes, people have difficulty finding an ideal roommate. In a worst case scenario, the roommate may refuse to pay rent or comply with the terms of the lease. In such cases, you may find yourself dealing with the question of how to evict a roommate in California.

Types of Roommate Arrangements

In California, there are two types of roommate arrangements in which the landlord does not live in the rental unit:

1. Roommates as Co-Tenants

Aco-tenant arrangement occurs when all roommates have a contractual relationship with the landlord. Both co-tenants pay the landlord rent directly. Also, one roommate cannot evict a co-tenant from a rental without just cause.

2. Roommate as Subtenant

To sublet means that one tenant has a contractual agreement with the landlord. After making this agreement, the tenant then contracts with another person as a roommate or housemate. This contract occurs under independent terms and conditions in which the subtenant pays the tenant rent.

While a co-tenant can evict a subtenant, a subtenant cannot evict anyone. Finally, the landlord can evict all tenants from the premises.

Unintended Subtenants

In California, if someone resides in an apartment for 30 days or more, they are considered a tenant, whether or not they signed a lease or formal rental tenancy agreement. In fact, long-term guests can unexpectedly become a tenant roommate without any type of rental agreement!

After 30 days, the guest is considered a co-tenant and can only be evicted by the landlord under legal due process if they do not leave voluntarily. Additionally, a roommate can only evict a subtenant if they were allowed by the roommate to stay in the property with or without the payment of rent under a subtenant agreement.

Criteria to Evict A Roommate

In order to evict a roommate, the tenant must provide proof that the subtenant committed one of the following acts:

  • Failed to pay rent
  • Violated a provision of the sublease
  • Materially damaged the rental property
  • Substantially interfered with the other tenants
  • Committed domestic violence against another tenant
  • Used the rental property for unlawful purposes
  • Committed unlawful conduct involving weapons or ammunition

The tenant may also choose to end the subtenant’s right to the premises with valid notice of termination, usually 30 days notice if the guest’s tenancy is under one year.

How to Evict A Roommate

In order to evict a roommate in California, a tenant must follow the process below:

1. Provide Written Notice

Before filing a formal legal procedure to evict a subtenant, the tenant must provide the subtenant with written notice to leave the premises within 30 or 60 days. Thirty days is the minimum requirement for month-to-month subtenants. However, if the subtenant complies with the demands of the notice, such as paying back rent, then they may continue residing on the property.

Furthermore, a tenant can provide the subtenant with a three-day notice if they meet the criteria above for eviction. However, the tenant must provide the subtenant with a detailed explanation about the reason for eviction pursuant to the three-day notice.

2. Unlawful Detainer Lawsuit

Once the notice period concludes, if the subtenant is still occupying the premises, the tenant may file an unlawful detainer to legally evict them. To initiate the formal eviction process, the tenant will need to file the complaint with the court and serve the summons and a copy of the complaint on the subtenant. Then, the subtenant will have to respond within five days or vacate the premises.

Additionally, the subtenant can oppose the complaint and file a response. Under these circumstances, the court will set a hearing date on which both parties must attend court and discuss the merits of their case. Then, after hearing both sides of the issue, the judge will issue a final ruling.

If the judge rules in favor of the tenant, the local sheriff can serve the subtenant with a five-day “lock out” notice to vacate. However, if the subtenant refuses to leave by the “lock out” deadline, the sheriff will physically remove the subtenant on the day of “lock out.” On this date, the tenant can legally change the lock on the apartment.

“Dos” and “Donts” When Evicting A Roommate

If you’re a tenant learning how to evict a roommate in California, be sure to follow these “dos” and “donts”:


  • keep good records of your dealings with the subtenant
  • offer a financial incentive for them to move out
  • get the police involved immediately and/or get a restraining order if you fear for your safety
  • follow the required legal procedures


  • get involved in verbal or physical altercations with the subtenant
  • change the locks, as doing so without a court order may subject you to criminal and monetary fines

About the Author: apeopleschoice

Sandra M. McCarthy, founder of A People’s Choice, has worked exclusively in the legal field since 1976. She served as the 2004-2005 President of CALDA (California Association of Legal Document Assistants). She obtained a Paralegal Certificate from the University of California, Santa Barbara. During her career in the legal field, she has worked as a freelance paralegal, law office manager and paralegal studies teacher, and has co-authored numerous legal publications and written hundreds of self-help legal articles. Sandy is dedicated to the expansion of affordable, low-cost, self-help document preparation.

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How to Evict a Roommate From Your Rental

Tenants don't become roommates intending that one of them will face eviction in the future, but it often happens. Normally, a landlord holds the primary responsibility for dealing with tenant evictions, but there are some situations where one roommate might be able to legally file to evict another.

Of course, you'll need standing, a legally valid reason, and you'll have to involve the court system.

Your Tenancy Status

Your ability to evict a roommate depends on the tenancy status in the lease agreement. This usually falls into one of three categories:

You're Co-Tenants

Both roommates are named on the lease agreement in this situation. They're considered equally liable for paying rent, paying utilities, and following all other terms of the lease agreement, such as quiet hours and pet policies. You share responsibility for any damage done to the property.

One co-tenant can't file to evict another co-tenant. Only a landlord can file for eviction in this situation.

The eviction would appear in public records under both co-tenants' names, but you can ask your landlord to sign an agreement that releases you from liability if you've personally been following the terms of the lease.

You're the Master Tenant

The master tenant is named on the lease agreement as the primary tenant and essentially sublets to the other roommate, sometimes referred to as the subtenant.

You must have the landlord’s permission to sublet to the other tenant. Otherwise, you'd be violating your lease by allowing an unauthorized person to live in the rental.

The master tenant typically collects rent from the other roommate and is the one who subsequently pays the landlord.

You might have a separate roommate agreement with your subtenant. You might be able to file to evict the other roommate for just cause in this situation. The process would be largely identical to the process a landlord must follow to evict a tenant.

State laws for this process can vary somewhat. Check with an attorney or legal aid to confirm the rules that apply in your state.

Your Roommate Is the Master Tenant

Unfortunately, you have no right to file to evict the master tenant if you're the subtenant. Your only options are to move out of the rental after giving the legal notice stated in your agreement.

You might also contact your landlord and explain the situation. It's possible that the landlord might file to evict the master tenant and agree to rent to you after the master tenant has been evicted.

Evicting for Good Cause

Your roommate must have violated a clause in the lease agreement or the separate roommate agreement you signed. In legal terms, this is "good cause."

Good cause can differ based on your state's or municipality's landlord/tenant laws, but common legally permissible reasons are more or less the same as would be required for a landlord to evict. They include:

  • Failure to pay rent
  • Failure to pay utility bills
  • Damage to the property in excess of normal wear and tear
  • Engaging in illegal activities on the property
  • Threatening the health or safety of the other tenant
  • Repeated breaches of the lease after receiving a "Notice to Quit Behavior," such as noise complaints

The Formal "Notice to Quit"

You must serve your roommate with a formal notice to quit if they don't agree to move out voluntarily. This notice must include:

  • The roommate’s name, address, and unit number
  • The specific ways the roommate is violating the lease or roommate agreement
  • How long the tenant has to fix the behavior or move out of the rental unit. This will be determined by state law.
  • A statement that you will be filing a formal eviction if the behavior isn't remedied or if the tenant doesn't voluntarily move out
  • The date and your signature

You must deliver the notice to your roommate according to your state's law. You might have to deliver it personally, send it via certified mail, or you might be able post it on the door to the apartment.

Again, check with a local professional or legal aid office to be sure.

File a Formal Notice to Evict

You'll have to file a formal eviction with the court if your roommate refuses to leave or fix the violation within the allowed time frame stated in your notice to quit. The court will set a date for an eviction hearing and will serve your roommate with formal notice of that date.

You might have to personally arrange to have your roommate served with the papers in some states.

Gather Evidence

You'll be required to prove that your roommate has violated the lease or roommate agreement, so gather any evidence that backs up your claim while you're waiting for your court date.

For example, take pictures of any damage or of pets in the rental unit if the tenant has an animal that's not allowed. You'll also want to make sure you have copies of all your paperwork.

Appear in Court

Make sure you appear in court on the scheduled date and at the correct time. Failure to appear is usually an automatic victory for the other side. Bring any evidence you have that supports your case.

If You Get a Judgment

Your roommate will be allowed to continue living in the rental unit if the judge rules against you. Otherwise, your roommate will be given a certain amount of time to move out. This can be as short as three days in some states.

The eviction notice will usually be posted on the front door of the rental unit. You can contact the local marshal or sheriff to forcibly remove your roommate from the residence, usually for a fee, if they don't move out by the required date.

Some Things to Keep in Mind

Try to avoid eviction. Talk to your roommate and ask them to move before you file a formal eviction action. Explain why you would like them to leave and make them aware that an eviction judgment will be a matter of public record and could make it more difficult to rent in the future.

Be professional. Any communication with your roommate regarding the eviction should be done in writing. Don't break the law by changing the locks, removing your roommate’s possessions, or threatening your roommate with illegal actions.

Protect yourself. Don't hesitate to call the police if you're ever concerned about your physical safety.    

What makes a person a tenant?

In general, if a person has paid rent or has agreed to pay rent to live somewhere, then that person is a tenant.

  • This is true even if the person is only using part of a house or apartment, such as when a person is sleeping on your couch.

  • Rent is usually money. A person can also “pay” rent by doing work or giving things to the person they are renting from.

If a person has never paid money, done work for you, or given you something of value AND they never agreed to do any of those things, then he or she is probably not a tenant. However, if a person has agreed to pay, do work, or give you something of value in exchange for living in your home, they may be considered a tenant even if they have never done anything to keep this agreement.

  • For example, if someone promised to pay you $500 per month to sleep in your spare room, that person may be a tenant even if he or she never paid even $1 in rent since they moved in.

I rent my home from someone else. How can I be a landlord?

A person may become a landlord even if he or she does not own the property.

  • The most common example is when a tenant sublets his or her rental unit.
  • The tenant who is renting from the owner is a landlord and the person subletting is a tenant.
Can someone be a tenant even if there is no written lease?

Yes. An agreement to rent a property does not need to be in writing.

  • A person can become a tenant through a verbal agreement.
  • A person can become a tenant based on the way he or she acts and how the other person responds. For example, if a person gives the owner money on a regular basis and the owner accepts it, that might create a landlord-tenant relationship.
What if we have a written agreement that says that the person living in my house is NOT a tenant?

That type of agreement can be helpful. But, if the person is paying rent, he or she may still be considered a tenant, no matter what the agreement says.

  • You cannot change a tenant into a guest just by changing what you call that person in your agreement.

  • If the issue ever came into court, the court would look at what is really happening, not just what the person was called in the agreement.

What if we have a written agreement that says that a person is a tenant only for a certain amount of time and that time is now over?

If you have a written agreement that a person is a tenant for a certain period of time, you will probably need to follow the procedures for evicting a tenant. This is true even if the time in the agreement is now over.

Are household employees tenants?

Employees who get housing from their employers as part of their pay are usually not tenants.

  • The most common example of this is live-in health care aides.

  • Whether an employee is a tenant depends on the specific agreement between the employee and employer.

  • It is possible for a person to be both an employee and a tenant.

Doesn't living in a property for a long time give a person “squatter’s rights? 

A person does not become a tenant just because he or she has lived in a property for a long time. In very rare cases when a person lives in a property for at least 15 years without the owner’s permission and meets several other conditions, then that person may own the property by “adverse possession.” This is usually what people mean when they talk about squatter’s rights.

The person I want to evict is a co-tenant on my lease. Is that person a tenant or something else?

If you and another person are co-tenants on the lease because you both signed the lease as tenants, you will both have an equal right to live in the property in most cases. Co-tenants usually cannot evict each other, even if one of the co-tenants stops paying the rent or is violating the lease that they both signed.

If the person you want to evict is not a tenant, but is a household member or authorized occupant, you may be able to evict that person. You will need to figure out whether that person is your tenant or is a guest. (See “Tenants vs. Guests” above.) If you are receiving a housing subsidy, you may want to talk to a lawyer to make sure you are following the rules of your subsidy program.

I've read all of this, and I'm still not sure whether the person living in my property is a tenant or not. What should I do?

If you are not sure whether the person you want to evict is a tenant or not, you should talk to a lawyer before you decide what to do next.

Can I lock a guest out and put the guest’s property on the street?

The safest way to remove a guest from your property is to use the court process. There are several reasons why it may be a bad idea to use self-help eviction to remove a guest from your home.

  • You may be risking your personal safety if the guest becomes angry or violent during or after the eviction.

  • If the police need to be called because the eviction is causing a disturbance, they may stop the eviction and direct you to let the guest move back into your home. The police may also direct you to go to court to evict the guest.

  • In many cases, you cannot be sure whether a person is a guest or a tenant. If you are wrong and a judge decides that your guest actually is a tenant, you may be ordered to let that person move back into your home and you might have to pay that person money for wrongfully evicting him or her.

  • Judgments for wrongful eviction can be a large amount of money and can include: reimbursement for living costs while the guest was out of the property, lost or stolen personal property, pain and suffering, and, if the tenant can prove that you acted recklessly or maliciously, additional damages to punish you for the illegal eviction.

You can protect yourself from these problems by using the court process to evict your guest.

How do I evict a guest through the court?

Even though a guest is not a tenant, you can still file an eviction case in the Landlord and Tenant Branch of D.C. Superior Court. The Landlord and Tenant Branch is eviction court, and you do not have to be a landlord to file a case to evict someone.

  • You do not have to use the Landlord and Tenant Branch, but it is usually the fastest way to get a judgment to remove a person from your property.

  • You can file a complaint on a Verified Complaint for Possession of Real Estate on Landlord and Tenant Form 1B, along with a Summons on Landlord and Tenant Form 1S. A sample complaint and summons filled out for a case like yours is included in the Self-Help Packet

  • After these forms are filled out, take them to the Landlord and Tenant Clerk’s Office, 510 4th Street, NW, Room 110, Washington, DC 20001.

  • There is a $15 fee to file the Complaint and Summons. If the filing fee will be a hardship to you, you can ask the court to waive your filing fees by completing an Application to Proceed without Prepayment of Costs and Fees. Click here for help completing this form.

  • After you file the Complaint and Summons, you will need to have someone over the age of 18 serve the papers. Instructions for serving the papers are included in this Self-Help Packet.

  • The person who serves the guest needs to fill out an Affidavit of Service that explains how the papers were given to the guest.

  • Your first court date will be about 3 weeks after you file your Complaint and Summons.

Do I need to put any special information on the court papers if I am a tenant myself, rather than the owner of the property?

In Paragraph 2 of the Complaint, a tenant who is evicting a guest can check the box “is not the Landlord, Owner, or Personal Representative but has the right to demand possession.” You can then explain on the line provided that you are the lawful tenant and that the guest is a person who refuses to leave your home.

Do I need to put any special information on the court papers if the guest I am evicting occupies part of the property, rather than the entire home, or if some or all of the furniture belongs to me?

In Paragraph 3 of the Complaint where the form says, “Plaintiff seeks possession of property located at,” you can put the complete street address of the house or apartment along with a description of the part of the house the guest is occupying. For example, if the guest is living in the basement or master bedroom, you can add the description “basement” or “master bedroom” after the address.

If some or all of the furnishing in the house or apartment are yours, you can add the words “partially furnished” or “furnished” to the address line.

See the sample complaint in the Self-Help Packet for an example.

Paragraph 4 on the Complaint asks whether the rent for the property is subsidized. My rent is subsidized, but the guest I’m evicting pays no rent. How do I answer this question?

If the rent for the unit you rent is subsidized, then you must check the box that says “yes.” You can take a black pen and carefully write underneath that question “The plaintiff’s rent is subsidized, but the defendant pays no rent” to explain.

Do I need to give my guest a 30-day notice before I file an eviction case in the Landlord and Tenant Branch?

In general, you are only required to give a 30-day notice to quit to someone who is a tenant.

You are usually not required to give a guest a 30-day notice, no matter how long that person has lived in your home. Most of the time, you can sue to evict a guest as soon as you have asked the person to leave and they have refused to move out.

These are not common, but here are some reasons why you might need to give someone who is not a tenant a notice to quit:

  • You promised your guest you would give him or her a certain amount of notice before he or she had to leave.

  • The person is not a tenant but is the former owner of a foreclosed property or cooperative unit that you bought. (Tenants of former owners of foreclosed properties have the rights of tenants. Please refer to the Frequently Asked Questions for Landlords for more information.)

If you think one of these reasons might apply to you, you should talk to a lawyer before you file an eviction case to make sure you have served a proper notice to quit.

I am afraid of my guest. Can I get this person out of my house any faster?

If your guest is violent, threatening, or abusive to you, you may be able to get an emergency Temporary Protection Order and/or a one-year Civil Protection Order to protect you. You do not need to have a family or intimate relationship to use the domestic violence process, but you do need to live together in the same home.

For more information about the domestic violence process, click here. For legal help requesting a TPO or CPO, click here or call the Domestic Violence Intake Center at (202) 879-0152 (at DC Superior Court) or (202) 561-3000 (at United Medical Center in Southeast DC).

The guest is a family member or friend. I'm worried that I will hurt our relationship if I sue him or her. Are there any other options?

The court offers a free service to help people solve disagreements without going to court. If your guest agrees, a community mediator can talk with you and the guest to see if you can reach an agreement. For more information on the court’s Community Mediation Program, click here or call (202) 879-1549.

I filed a Complaint to have the guest evicted. What happens when I go to Court?

Make sure you arrive and are seated in the courtroom by 9:00 AM. The judge will explain how the process works and what help may be available. If you do not speak English or are deaf or hard of hearing, make sure you tell the courtroom clerk before the announcement begins.

The clerk will read the names of all parties who are scheduled to appear. You must answer "here" or "present" and state your name when your name is called. Make sure you can hear the clerk clearly. If you cannot hear, raise your hand and let the clerk know. If you miss your name and fail to answer, your case may be dismissed. If the defendant does not answer when the case is called, you can ask the clerk to enter a "default" against the guest.

If you do not hear your name during the roll call or you are late arriving to court and aren't sure if your name was called, you should speak to the clerk in the courtroom after the roll call is over and make sure that the clerk knows that you are present.

Once the clerk completes roll call, you can decide to do one or more of the following:

  • Settle the case with the guest or the guest's lawyer.

  • Ask the judge to grant a non-redeemable judgment in your case. If the guest does not have a defense to your claim, the judge can enter judgment for possession. If the guest has a defense, the case probably will be set for a trial on a different day.

  • "Mediate" your case through a court-appointed mediator. A mediator will talk to both sides and try to help settle the case. However, you do not have to settle the case, and you should speak to a lawyer if you do not understand any part of the mediation or what is being said to you by the mediator.

For more information about what happens on your first day in court, click here. For more information about settlement and mediation, click here.

What happens if I can't appear in Court on my scheduled day?

You should immediately call the Clerk of the Court at (202) 879-4879 to explain why you cannot appear. Ask the clerk for his or her name and write it down. You also should immediately call your guest or the guest's attorney to tell him or her that you cannot appear. If you have time to come to court on another day before your court date, you can file a notice with the court explaining that you cannot come to court and requesting a new date.

If the clerk does not give you another date to appear in court, get to court as soon as possible and find out what happened. Even if you call the court, the judge may still dismiss your case. If your case is dismissed because you are not there, it is called a "dismissal for want of prosecution," and you can usually file a motion to re-open the case or file a new case.

What happens if the guest does not come to court?

If the guest does not come to court on the initial hearing date, you can usually have a "default" entered against the guest during the morning roll call. In most cases, a default means that a judgment for possession will be entered after you file paperwork with the court proving that the defendant is not in the military.

In some cases, you are also required to present proof (called "ex parte" proof) of your case to the court before you can get a judgment for possession, even if the guest does not come to court or if the guest came to court but left or did not come back to court for a continued hearing.

If proof is required, the judge might set another court date about two weeks after your first one. If the guest does not come to court, the clerk will usually tell you if you need to appear in front of the judge after roll call. If you aren't sure, you can ask the clerk after the roll call is over what you should do next.

The guest filed an Answer. What is an "Answer?"

An Answer puts in writing the defenses the guest intends to raise at a trial.

Does the guest have to file an Answer?

Filing an Answer is not required in Landlord Tenant Court unless the guest wants to request a jury trial (instead of a "bench trial" before a judge).

What are some defenses the guest might raise?

The most common defense to a case filed against a guest is that the guest claims that he or she is actually your tenant, not your guest. Other defenses may include:

  • The court papers have not been filled out correctly.
  • The court papers were not given to the guest in the correct way or soon enough before the first hearing.
  • The guest has some other right to live in the property.
  • The guest has been given permission to live in the property by a co-tenant or co-owner.
I have a judgment for possession. How long will it take until the guest is evicted?

After you get a judgment for possession, you must wait two full business days before you can file a Writ of Restitution. A Writ of Restitution is a document that authorizes the U.S. Marshals Service to schedule an eviction.

After the Writ of Restitution is filed, the Clerk's Office sends the writ to the U.S. Marshals Service. The U.S. Marshals Service sends a copy of the writ to the guest. The U.S. Marshals Service will call you to schedule the eviction. The soonest an eviction can take place is on the fourth business day after the writ is filed. The writ is valid for 75 days. If the guest is not evicted in the 75 days, then you will have to file a new (or "alias") writ.

Remember, the U.S. Marshals must be present during the eviction. However, the U.S. Marshals will not remove the guest’s property. You will need to find or hire an eviction crew. The size of the eviction crew depends on the size of the home being evicted. For more information about the U.S. Marshals’ procedures, click here. You also may want to schedule a locksmith to come to the property to make sure the locks are changed at the same time as the eviction.

For more information about the eviction process generally, click here.

What happens if I can't afford to pay any Court fees?

If you cannot afford to pay costs or fees relating to your Landlord Tenant case, you can file an "Application to Proceed Without Prepayment of Costs, Fees, or Security" commonly referred to as an "IFP" or "In Forma Pauperis." You will be required to complete the court's form and swear to information about your financial affairs. Once you complete the Application and Affidavit, you will appear in front of the judge who will decide whether to grant your request. You can click here for the form.

Although the court-filing fees will be waived, only $10 of the writ fee will be waived in most cases. (The writ fee is currently over $200.) You will also have to pay for an eviction crew or find friends who will help you do it for free. These costs usually cannot be waived.


Eviction notice roommate

How to Evict a Roommate

Article SummaryX

Evicting a roommate can be stressful, but if you follow your lease and are honest with your roommate, you can make the process smoother. Before you ask your roommate to leave, you’ll need to have a good reason for it. For example, if your roommate is no longer paying rent, or if they’re doing illegal things in your home, you have the right to evict them. Additionally, make sure to read your lease thoroughly so you know what terms of eviction you’ll need to follow. Then, sit down with your roommate and explain your feelings to them. You might say something like, “What you’re doing has put me in an uncomfortable position, and I’m unhappy. I think it’d be best if you found somewhere else to stay. “ Once you’ve told them, call your landlord so they can formally initiate an eviction. To learn how to take legal action against your roommate, read on.

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Avoid the Paperwork—Just Ask

The first step, of course, is simply asking. Since this is a roommate, friend, or family member, your chance of success with politeness is much better than a typical landlord-tenant relationship. Odds are you’ve done this already, but it’s an important first step and would end up saving you a lot of paperwork, time, and hassle.

Use an Eviction Notice

If asking doesn’t work, you actually must serve your unwanted roommate or family member with an Eviction Notice. In most states, the process for evicting someone who lives with you is quite similar to the process described in the first paragraph. Treating your roommate like a tenant increases your chances of success.

But here’s the good news: commonly, the person you’d like to move out will not have a lease. In most situations without a lease, the person living in the property is treated as if they had a month-to-month lease, meaning they’ll need only a month to vacate.

The Landlord/Tenant Eviction Process

For your reference (and since using an Eviction Notice will work similarly for you), here's how the Landlord/Tenant eviction process usually works:

The landlord serves an eviction notice, and if the tenant doesn’t remedy the problem, both the tenant and landlord end up in front of a judge. If that judge finds for the landlord, the tenant’s given a reasonable amount of time to vacate. Though laws vary state to state—and sometimes, even within a state—the process nearly always plays out as we just described.

The reasons to evict someone you live with are usually the same as reasons to evict a tenant, as how you navigate the eviction processin general. It starts with a dialogue and often progresses to an Eviction Notice.

This article contains general legal information and does not contain legal advice. Rocket Lawyer is not a law firm or a substitute for an attorney or law firm. The law is complex and changes often. For legal advice, please ask a lawyer.

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