Legally Evicting A Roommate

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(File photo.  Credit: Joe Raedle/ Getty Images)

(File photo. Credit: Joe Raedle/ Getty Images)

feldman_amy Amy Feldman
Amy E. Feldman is a business commentator and legal business...
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By Amy E. Feldman

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Can you evict your roommate?

Police arrested a Boston man earlier this month after he allegedly struck his roommate in the head with a 5-foot bamboo stick during an argument over his milk and cereal, according to the police. Uh, I’m guessing Froot Loops. Now his roommate wants to know – How do you kick out a crummy roommate?

The answer is that if your co-tenant is on the lease, YOU can’t – only the landlord can evict a tenant. So have a conversation with your landlord about getting this guy out of your apartment.

If the co-tenant is not on the lease and doesn’t pay the landlord directly, then you generally can evict him but the process can be complicated.

Start by talking to the roommate to let him know it’s not working out and that you expect him to leave and that may do the trick. If it doesn’t, put your concerns in writing and give him a date by which you expect him to leave, usually 30 days. In some states, if he still doesn’t leave of his own volition, you need to go to court to get him, his bamboo stick, cereal bowl, and the rest of his belongings out of there.

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