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What You Should Know about Evicting Roommates

What You Should Know about Evicting Roommates

What You Should Know about Evicting Roommates


What You Should Know about Evicting Roommates

If you're having trouble getting along with your roommate, beyond basic fights, then you probably want to know about your options in resolving the living situation. Perhaps you don't want to move and are interested to see if you can evict your roommate. Read on to learn whether you can evict a roommate legally in the Bay Area.

To determine how to handle a bad roommate, you have to take the situation of both you and your roommate in mind. Specifically, this means that you have to consider your and your roommate's relationship with the lease:

  • Both names on the lease: If you and your roommate are both on the lease, it's considered as a co-tenant relationship where you both pay rent to the landlord. In this case, you can't evict a co-tenant; only your landlord can evict a tenant who is named on the lease. And when they do evict, they must have a just cause for eviction. Here, if your problem with your roommate involves them doing something illegal in your apartment, not paying the rent, or damaging the apartment, your landlord may be able to evict them instead of you doing it. In any roommate situation (regardless of who is or isn't on the lease) where you feel unsafe, you can and should call the police. Roommates that a pose a threat can be evicted. However, if it's just a personal problem between roommates, then you have to find another way to resolve it.
  • Your name is the only one on the lease: If you're the only named person on the lease, it's more likely that you can evict your roommate. This is the case even if you and your roommate have a sublease agreement. Here, you can evict in this scenario because legally, you're considered to be your roommate's landlord. Therefore, you can typically play out an eviction just as your landlord could evict you. Just follow the same official proceedings, so that your roommate can't sue you for wrongful eviction. However, if your roommate pays their rent directly to the landlord, they are typically considered your co-tenant, which means that they are entitled to the same rights that you have as a tenant on the lease. Therefore, it's not as likely that you can evict them.
  • Your roommate's name is on the lease, but yours is not: Perhaps, you're subletting the place from your roommate. Here, your roommate is considered the master tenant, and you're their subtenant. When you're not named on the lease, the legal agreement is between the landlord and your roommate, and you can't evict them.
  • No written agreement: If you don't have a lease/written agreement, but your roommate has lived with you for more than 30 days or the landlord has accepted their rent, then they have a month-to-month tenancy. Under the SF Rent Ordinance, you can only evict them for a just cause reason.

Discuss Roommate Evictions with A Wolford Wayne Attorney

If you need to evict your roommate, you probably should talk to one of our experienced attorneys before acting. A Wolford Wayne lawyer can give you guidance to avoid harming your living situation any further. Contact us today to learn more about your options.


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