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Can I ask someone to leave?

Yes, but doing so requires tact. Asking is often the first step. Of course, simply asking may be no simple task. Since you know this person, exercise discretion and your own best judgment to decide when and how to ask. You may consider offering an incentive, like waiving a month of rent or assistance with moving out.

If you rent, you may want to consider speaking with a lawyer to review your Lease Agreement or Sublease Agreement to confirm your rights before asking. It is important to make sure you in fact have the right to evict whoever you are asking to leave. Typically, if you own the property, or are the primary tenant, you will have this right. If both you and your roommate, or neither of you, are on a lease, then you may not be allowed to evict them. Asking your landlord to get involved might end up being futile, and can harm your relationship with your landlord.

Even if you do not have the right to evict whoever you live with, you may still be able to ask them to leave. Unfortunately, they do not have to comply. If they do agree, you may need to notify your landlord and update your Lease Agreement.

If you have a clear written agreement, an established month-to-month tenancy, or a sublease arrangement with your roommate or family member, look at those documents. You may be able to provide them with a Notice of Non-Renewal when the lease expires. If they do not voluntarily leave after that notice, you may need to explore eviction.

How do I evict someone from my home?

If asking does not work, and you have the right to evict, you might consider actually giving your unwanted roommate or family member an Eviction Notice. This is not the same as filing an eviction lawsuit, but is often required before doing so.

An Eviction Notice tells a tenant or subtenant that they must correct a violation of your Lease Agreement or leave by a certain date. For example, a tenant may fix an Eviction Notice for unpaid rent by paying the unpaid rent. On the other hand, an Eviction Notice for not leaving after the end of the lease usually cannot be corrected.

In most states, the process for evicting someone who lives with you, if you are legally allowed to do so, is similar to the process for evicting a tenant. Treating your roommate like a tenant increases your chances of success. This means that evicting a roommate requires following many of the same rules for evictions that landlords must follow. These rules can be complicated and require meeting certain deadlines.

If you live in an area with strong renters protections, you may want to ask a lawyer before you get started as mistakes in the eviction process can be costly.

Do I have to evict guests who overstay their welcome?

The answer here depends on the details and where you live. In most states, guests will not be considered tenants or require being evicted through the court process. However, if they refuse to leave voluntarily, law enforcement may need to get involved. That might require you to prove the person does not have any rights to be there. It may be a different scenario, however, if those guests are really short-term renters.

In cities or states where there are strong renter protections, a guest may establish rights as a tenant if they have lived somewhere for a certain number of days. When this happens, the eviction process must be followed to get them out. If you believe your guest, roommate, or other cohabitant has gained rights as a tenant, ask a lawyer for help.

How does the eviction process work for a roommate?

Generally, here is how the eviction process works in most states when someone evicts their roommate:

  • The homeowner or primary tenant is considered a landlord and must serve an Eviction Notice on their tenant, subtenant, subletter, roommate, or renter.
  • The Eviction Notice requires that person to either fix a problem identified in the notice, or move out within a certain number of days. The number of days that must be provided varies from one state to another.
  • If they do not remedy the problem or move out within the timeframe required by the Eviction Notice, everyone ends up in front of a judge in court.
  • If that judge agrees that the eviction is legal, the tenant is given a reasonable amount of time to vacate. If they do not leave after that, law enforcement may be asked to force them to leave, as landlords are prohibited from taking action themselves.

Though laws vary from state to state, and sometimes, even within a state, the process is similar, with some variation in the deadlines, requirements, and details.

The reasons to evict someone you live with are often the same as the reasons to evict a tenant. How you navigate the eviction process can make all the difference. Whether it starts with a conversation or progresses to an Eviction Notice, getting legal help as early as possible can help save you time, stress, and money. If you have legal questions about evicting someone who lives with you, reach out to a Rocket Lawyer network attorney.

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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