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Suppose you have just moved into a new apartment; you and your roommate have signed the lease, and are, therefore, bound by the contract. Several months into this lease, you both decide to take on a third roommate. The new roomie will not be on the lease, but agrees orally to a month-to-month arrangement.

This is all fine for the first few months, and it certainly helps with expenses. However, by the fourth month with the new roomie, you and your original roommate decide he has to go. This person is behaving strangely and making you feel very uncomfortable.

There shouldn’t be a problem, right? He’s not on the lease, so you can just tell him to leave. While tenant laws vary from state to state, most would still require you to give him a 30-day notice.

Issue the notice in writing and be sure to keep a copy and record the date and time you delivered it to him. You should deliver the notice in person; don’t just leave it taped to his bedroom door. These are important steps to take if you end up in court.

It is also important that you not accept any payment from him after the date on the termination letter. Your acceptance of cash or checks could be interpreted as a willingness to let him stay on in the apartment.

Many times a lease will allow an “occupant” as long as they meet certain requirements under the roommate law. “Occupant”, in this case, means someone who is living in the apartment but who is not a tenant on the lease.

If the unwanted roommate refuses to budge, what can you do? This is when you’ll have to take some legal steps to accomplish your goal. City and state laws regarding roommates are numerous and varied; you’ll want to consult an attorney in your area to find out exactly how to proceed.

If you need legal help, please consult our Online Legal Directory to find an attorney in your area.

 

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