Can I evict my roommate for not paying the electric bill so it was shut off?

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Can I evict my roommate for not paying the electric bill so it was shut off?

I have a roommate issue. There are 3 of us in total. We all have separate leases for our rooms. We all have 1 utility in our name to keep the responsibility even. The roommate in question happens to have the electric bill. A few months ago, our service was shut off due to non-payment. We then had a week long battle with her to show us all the back bills, to make sure that we had only paid her for what we actually owed her; she was trying to get us to pay back bills on a house she had previously lived in prior to even knowing us. I contacted our landlord to let him know what was going on, and he said that he was planning to evict her. She hadn’t paid rent for the past 2 months. Then, for whatever reason, instead of a formal eviction he told her to start looking for a new place. I’m not sure if she has. The electric bill is still in her name and the same thing is beginning to happen. She refuses to show us the bills and we just got a final notice for our electricity to be shut off. Again. Is there anything we can do to get her out? Change the locks? Aside from moving out, I’m not sure what else to do. We both feel like if we have this much trouble trying to pay her bills, we can’t imagine how difficult it would be to get any sort of payment from her.

Asked on February 19, 2017 under Real Estate Law, South Carolina

Answers:

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

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Only a landlord can evict a tenant; roommates cannot evict one another. Regading the electric bill, if you want to collect on any monies owed to you, you can file a suit in small claims court. I the meantime, take no steps against this person such as changing the locks, etc. or you can find yourself beig sued instead.


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