Does my ex, who still lives in the same apartment, have to pay half of the rent and bills?

We still live in the same apartment even though we broke up. When we were together I was paying all of the bills, including the rent. Now that we are broken up, she is still not paying her half even though I have brought it up to her. Can I legally force her to move out if she doesn’t start paying half of the rent and


Asked on June 11, 2017 under Real Estate Law, California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Is she on the lease? If she is, she is legally obligated to pay  her share of rent and you can sue her for the money if she does not. However, you cannot evict her (one tenant cannot evict another) and if the full rent is not paid, whether by you, by her, or by a combination of the two of you, the landlord may evict you: no matter is happending between the two of you, the lanldord is entitled to the full rent.
If she is not on the lease but you are, you can remove her. If she was paying half the rent when you were the tenant and she was not, she was a subtenant of yours and you could evict her, as a subtenant, for nonpayment of rent
If she was not paying anything (which appears to be the case) and you were on the lease, she was just a guest of yours. You can ask her to leave any time and if she does not, you can bring an action for "ejectment" to remove her--you have to do by "ejectment," which is "eviction for nontenants who had been alllowed originally to live there. Consult with an attorney about how to do this (or about how to evict, if she was a subtenant of yours.)

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