What are a co-tenant’s rights?

My roommate and I are both on a lease for a rental home and lately we have been arguing a lot. I’m going on vacation and he hss threatened to put my belongings on the curb. What should I do to protect myself?

Asked on April 14, 2017 under Real Estate Law, Missouri

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

If you are both on the same lease, your roommate may not evict you. One co-tenant has no right to evict another co-tenant. Only a landlord can evict a tenant and only for non-payment, breach of the lease, damage to the premises, disturbing the peace, etc. Otherwise, you can only be made to vacate at the expiration of the lease term. If this other roommate takes any action against you and trieds to illegaly evict you and/or takes, damage or loses your personal possessions, they can be subject to both civil and criminal action. That having been said, as a practical matter, before you leave you may want to store any special items (i.e. sentimental and/or hard to replace belongings) with a friend or put them into a storage unit.


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