What is the best way to evict a roommate-tenant that you cannot trust in your house?

I have had a tenant renting a room in my house. Months ago the lease expired and a month to month lease was signed which required past rent payments to be paid in full within 37 days. I received a partial payment and promise of money to come. This promise was broken, and now he is not paying the regular monthly payments. I do not expect any repayment. I do not trust this tenant if given a 30 day notice. They have pawned their own items, and I fear they would do something to my home and belongings. What can I do to end this is as soon as possible without fear of negative consequences?

Asked on July 25, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Maine


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

If the tenant has failed to pay you all amounts due as rent, then you can evict him for nonpayment. Follow the rules and procedures for a non-payment eviction, which generally allow you  to immediately bring a legal action without a prior notice. Unfortunately, the only way to evict someone is through the courts--you cannot simply lock them out. You should also take basic precautions, like removing and putting in storage (or safety deposit boxes) valuable items, spare cash, credit cards, important papers, etc. You might also set up a video camera(s) to monitor your parts of the home. If anything is stolen, you could sue for  it's value (and for any rent you are owed) and also press charges.

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