I am the only individual on my lease andIneed to evict my roommate who is not on the lease, doI need to give her notice?

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I am the only individual on my lease andIneed to evict my roommate who is not on the lease, doI need to give her notice?

My roommate and I are not getting along and I want her to move out. I am the only person on my lease, so she has no legal right to stay, but refuses to move out for another 4 months. Should I serve her a notice to vacate? I heard that I am required to give her 30-days to move out. Is that correct?

Asked on April 22, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Colorado

Answers:

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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Since this person is not on the lease, they may be considered to be your "subtenant" if they paid you rent; if they didn't pay you rent but lived on the premises with your permission, they will be considered to be a"licensee".  Either way, you must give them a 30-day notice to vacate the premises.  If they doesn't leave by the date specified then you, as the lawful occupant, will need to file a "unlawful detainer action" (i.e. eviction). 

 

Note:  If she was a "tenant" (i.e. not a your subtenant or licensee), then your landlord would need to file because only landlords can evict tenants.  This person may have achieved the status of tenant if they paid rent directly to your landlord, or if your landlord put (or allowed them to put) their name on the mailbox/doorbell, or if you and this person rented the house together and it was clear that both of you were on equal footing. 

As you seem to be aware, it is important that you comply with all legal requirements, including proper notice to vacate the premises.  If someone is put out of their home in an unlawful manner they are entitled to recover damages.  Therefore self-help measures such as removing personal belongings or changing 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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