How can I evict my roommate if he is an unauthorized tenant?

A co-worker of mine needed a place to stay. I was trying to help him out by offering him to move in with me. However, he is not on my lease and my landlord doesn’t know he is living here. He has been here roughly 6 months and more recently has been causing problems. (nose complaints, destruction of personal property). What can I do to get him out without getting evicted myself? (state law considers me to be subletting and that is against my lease; I knew none of this prior to trying to help him out).

Asked on July 17, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Ohio


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

You can only remove an occupant whom you had (at least initially) allowed to reside with you through the courts. If there is no sublease with him and he is not paying rent, then the appropriate action is most likely an action for ejectment, not the type of eviction action brought against tenants; ejectment is similar to, but not identical with, eviction, and is used when the person with the right to possess space (like the lawful tenant) wants to get rid of a formerly permitted occupant (like a guest) who does not have any legal right to possession.

The best thing to do is to bring a copy of your lease to a landlord-tenant attorney, who can review it and the situation with you and help you take action in a way which does not breach (or at least minimizes the breach of) your lease.

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