Living with a roommate is risky business. Whether you’re cohabitating with a lifelong pal or a total stranger, there are always surprises that come along with sharing a living space with another human.
If you’re lucky, the majority of your roommate experiences have been positive. Perhaps you’ve even remained close friends with a few of your former roomies. But as many of us know, not all stories have a happy ending. Sometimes roommate situations can go south pretty quickly. Tempers flare, personalities clash, and you find yourself in a position where you need to put the kibosh on your living arrangement.
Kicking out a roommate isn’t something anyone wants to go through. However, when things get ugly and you’re dangerously close to losing your sanity, it’s often the only way to restore the peace in your humble home. If you’re at odds with a roommate and are thinking about cutting ties, follow the steps below for a successful resolution.
1. Have an honest (and sober) face-to-face conversation. Don’t make it personal or point any fingers. Simply tell your roommate it’s clear you’re not a good match, and that you think she should find somewhere else to live. Even if you imagine some liquid courage would make this conversation easier, resist the urge to open a bottle of wine before sitting down to chat.
2. Check your lease to see if you can actually evict your roommate. If your roommate gives you attitude and refuses to leave, you’ll have to up your game. The next step will depend on the terms of your lease. If she’s on the lease and you’re not, you’re out of luck. If you’re both on the lease, you’ll have to tough it out unless you can find someone to replace you. If you’re on the lease and your roommate isn’t, you can technically give her the boot.
3. Serve your roommate a notice of termination. In the event that it’s your name on the lease, the next step will be to give her a notice of termination stating that you’re ending her tenancy. Unfortunately, you can’t just stick a note under her bedroom door. An uninvolved third party must be the one to serve the notice. What’s more, you’ll need to give your roommate a full rental cycle to remove herself and her belongings from your home.
4. Offer a financial incentive to speed up the process. It’s no secret that moving is costly – especially when you don’t have much notice. If you can, and you’re feeling generous, offer to help cover your roommate’s moving expenses. Or, at the very least, consider refunding her security deposit early to ease the financial burden. Think about it this way: The sooner your roommate can secure a new home, the sooner your life can return to normal.
5. If all else fails, get a court order. If your roommate doesn’t move out by the termination date, you can take her to housing court. While hiring an attorney will make the process easier for you, it’s not absolutely necessary. In most situations you’ll come to an agreement with the court on a final date of your roommate’s residency in your home. Then, a judge will issue an eviction order. If your roommate is a rational person, she’ll understand this is the end of the road.