Can my roommate evict me?

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Can my roommate evict me?

My boyfriend and I share an apartment with a roommate. He is kicking us out because we don’t have an “ideal lifestyle.” We clean up after ourselves, are respectful, and pay rent on time. We are all signed on to an agreement by the landlord. It’s a month-to-month place. His reason is we like work, go to bars once in a while and go out on weekends. He stays indoors always and doesn’t work. He treats us like kids. He wants us out because he was here first. Can he do this?

Asked on April 26, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Massachusetts

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

If you are all renting from the same landlord, your roommate may not evict you--when you all rent from the same person, you are co-tenants, and one co-tenant has no right to evict other co-tenants. Only your landlord could evict you, and only for nonpayment, breach of the lease, damage to the landlord's property, disturbing the peace, or threatening or committing crimes against the landlord--or at the expiration of the lease term, or for a month-to-month lease, on 30 days notice.

If this other roommate were actually your landlord and you were subletting from him, things would be different--then he could, as your landlord evict you for the reasons stated above (including on 30 days notice for a month to month rental). But again, if you are tenants of the same landlord, he has no greater rights than you and no right to evict you; the fact that he may have been there first has no legal significance at all.


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