Can my roommate and or landlord kick me out without any notice?

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Can my roommate and or landlord kick me out without any notice?

I’ve been living with my roommate since 3 months; not on the lease. We have no written agreement between us and her landlord knows that I’m living here. Can either of them kick me out without any notice? The roommate and I got into and argument earlier today and she told me to pack my stuff and leave.

Asked on January 31, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Connecticut

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

No, you must be given notice, whether or not you are on the lease.  You will need to be legally evicted.  The question here however is, who is the suitable party to file an "unlawful detainer action" (i.e. eviction)? 

To evict someone from their established home, the person who is entitled to possession of the premises must sue in court. Since you were not on the lease, then you may be considered to be a "licensee"; that is someone invited to enter and remain on the premises.  Now that your "license" (i.e. invitation) had been revoked you will need to be formally evicted.  In such a case, your roomate can file.  

However, you could be considered a "tenant"(even without a lease).  If, for example, the landlord has treated you as a tenant by accepting rent directly from you, by putting your name on the mailbox/doorbell, or if you and your roomate rented the place together and it was clear that both of you were on equal footing, etc.  Under such circumstances, you may have attained the status of a tenant. In that case, the landlord would have to file for the eviction because only landlords can evict tenants.

Regardless of who evicts you, it is important that they comply with all legal requirements; this includes proper notice to vacate the premises.  Someone who is put out of their home in a forcible or unlawful manner is entitled to recover damages in a legal action against the wrongdoer. Additionally, using illegal methods to force someone to move is a criminal violation.  Therefore self-help measures such as removing your personal belongings or changing the locks, cannot be used.  At this point, you should consult with a landlord-tenant attorney or tenant's rights organization to find out just what the process is for a legal eviction in your state.


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