Ifmy roommate is breaking a lease and not paying utility bills, can I put her stuff on the street?

UPDATED: Dec 20, 2011

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Ifmy roommate is breaking a lease and not paying utility bills, can I put her stuff on the street?

We co-signed about 3 months ago. She’s been late every month and asked the be let out by the manager this month. He’s keeping her deposit but I am responsible for all of next monrth’s’s rent. The utility bills that were in her name have been unpaid, the gas was actually shut off. I’m working on paying/reconnecting them but she has yet to get her stuff out of the house or respond when she will. Am I able to give her notice and put her stuff out since she has no more legal rights living here? I want to go home for the holidays without worrying about her in the house.

Asked on December 20, 2011 under Real Estate Law, California


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Until the landlord signs a document ending your roommate's lease with a set move out date, you should not touch any of her belongings. By doing so, it will only lead to more problems for you.

I would press her about the utility bills and other matters she owes you money for and if she refuses to pay you what is owed, small claims court will most likely be your recourse as to her. In the mean time, I would start looking for a replacement roommate if you do not want to pay the full rent for the unit.

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