How to Get Rid of a Roommate Legally

Living with a roommate with whom you do not get along can be a nightmare. Getting your roommate to leave, however, can be worse. No matter the source of the conflict, there are a number of ways you can get your roommate to move out. The method you choose to use will depend on the legal status of you and your roommate, and whether or not the landlord has any say in the matter.

Only a landlord can evict a roommate who is included on the lease. (Image: monkeybusinessimages/iStock/Getty Images)

Step 1

Review the lease. You need to determine if you and your roommate are listed on the lease, or if only one of you is. You also need to review the lease for any terms addressing roommate problems or changes.

Step 2

Negotiate terms. If your roommate is not on the lease, you can demand he leaves the property. However, it can be easier to get him to leave if you negotiate terms, such as leaving by a certain date. If you can, put these terms in writing and get your roommate to sign the agreement.

Step 3

Contact the landlord. Getting your roommate to leave if he is on the lease is more difficult. You can still negotiate terms of the roommate leaving, but you must get the landlord to agree as well. Contact the landlord, discuss the situation and try to negotiate a settlement. You may have to sign a new lease in which you are the sole tenant, or find a suitable roommate replacement.

Step 4

Force an eviction. If your roommate is on the lease and absolutely refuses to leave, all you can really do is try to get the roommate evicted. Contact the landlord about your problem. If your roommate has violated the terms of the lease, the landlord can hold both of you responsible, but you can try to convince the landlord that the roommate should be evicted and not you.


Some cities or real estate organizations have renter mediation available for renters with conflicts between roommates. Contact your landlord, local municipal government or student housing representative, and ask about what mediation programs are available.

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