How can I legally kick my roommate out?

UPDATED: Dec 29, 2011

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How can I legally kick my roommate out?

My boyfriend and I are renting an apartment. We are currently on a year lease. Mine and his names are the only 2 present on the lease. We have allowed a married couple to stay with us for the past 3-4 months. At the beginning of this month, we expressed to them how my boyfriend and I would like to have our own place again and we gave them until the 31st. They are now refusing to leave.

Asked on December 29, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Illinois


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

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

These people are your "subtenants" which makes you their "sublandlord". Accordingly, since you have the legal right to occupy the premises, you can file an "unlawful detainer" (i.e. eviction lawsuit) in court. First, however, you will have to comply with all legal requirements in order to get these roommates legally removed. This starts with giving them written notice (typically 30 days). If they fail to vacate by the date specified in the notice, you will then file the unlawful detainer. Once it is granted, they will either have to leave the premises voluntarily or you can have the sheriff remove them. 

In the meantime do not undertake any "self-help" measures (e.g. changing the locks, removing his belongings, etc). You could be sued if you do. At this point you shold consult a tenant's right group or attorney who specializes landlord-tenant cases. They can best advise as to go about this.

Note:  If these roommates are "official" tenants, the only way to have them legally removed from the premises is to have your landlord file for the unlawful detainer action. Having their name'sname on a lease is not the only way that they may be considered to be formal tenants of your landlord. In addition to being on the lease, they may have achieved the status of tenants if your landlord accepted rent directly from them. Also, if the landlord put (or allowed them to put) their names on the mailbox/doorbell, etc, 

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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