Can I get my roommate out with 30 days notice?

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Can I get my roommate out with 30 days notice?

My roommate who refused to sign a lease has stopped paying me, started smoking spice inside, and keeps sneaking his brother who has been arrested multiple times even though I told him he isn’t allowed on the property. I just told him to get out in 30 days. What do I need to do to protect myself legally?

Asked on May 7, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Virginia

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Does your roommate rent (or sublet) from you (making you his landlord)? If so, if there is no written lease, your roommate is a month-to-month tenant on an oral lease, and you can give him 30 days notice terminating his tenancy, then bring an eviction action after that if he won't leave. (Note: the only legal way to evict is through the courts; a landlord cannot lock out a tenant him- or herself.)

If he has failed to pay you rent, you could immediately bring an eviction action--no prior notice is required when evicting for nonpaymenet. If he pays you all rent due and owing prior to your getting a judgment of possesion (essenetially, prior to the court date), however, he will be able to stay if you evicted on this basis.

However, if the roommate does not rent from you, but rather rents from the same landlord you rent from, you cannot evict him--only landlords, not fellow tenants, can evict. You could sue for any any money the roommate owes you, however, pursuant to his failure to pay rent to the landord (if you have therefore been paying the full amount of the rent, to avoid eviction) and/or pursuant to some other agreement between the two of you.


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