Can I have a bad roommate evicted if he is on the lease?

My roommate has become unbearable to live with and impossible to reason with. He pays the rent on time but that is where the good part ends. He intentionally does things that he knows will make problems for us, including: disabling smoke detectors (violation of lease), not paying for groceries, stealing from us (even underwear), refusing to pay his portion of the gas bill (but leaves doors/windows open when heat is on), being a drunken nuisance/disturbing us and the landlords in the middle of the night, not locking the door at night, repeated harassment, verbal abuse, and antagonistic behavior. My other roommate and both landlords have told him he should just leave but he refuses.

Asked on October 2, 2011 under Real Estate Law, New York


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

If you have a difficult roommate who signed your lease with your landlord, you need to carefully read the document in that its terms and conditions control the obligations owed to you by the landlord and vice versa in the absence of conflicitng state law.

Potentially this written lease (assuming you have one) also creates obligations owed by each of the tenants to each other. If so, this agreement could be a basis for you to get this troublesome roommate out of the premises.

The best way to try and get this roommate that is causing the problem is to work with your landlord to find some way to have his tenancy terminated by the landlord. If you are on a month-to-month tenancy, perhaps the landlord will terminate his lease this this troublesome roommate.

Good luck.

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