Is it legal to remove a roommate not on the lease and their belongings with no notice?

My fiancee had been renting a room from friends for the past 5 months. He pays $300 a month and was up to date on his rent. In fact, he just paid for another month 2 days ago. Last night, his roommates went through all of his belongings and physically removed everything from the home with no notice.

Asked on August 25, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Rhode Island

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

No, this is illegal. If he was paying rent but was not on the lease, he was a month-to-month tenant or subtenant (tenant if renting from property owner(s); substenant if renting from somone him- or herself leasing the property). In any event, he must be given at least 30 days notice terminating his tenancy and--if he does not then leave--must be evicted through the courts, by a court officer after filing an eviction action. If he is evicted any other way, it was an illegal eviction, and he could potentially sue for monetary compensation and/or to be reinstated in the premises until lawfully removed.


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