How do I evict a roommate?

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How do I evict a roommate?

My ex-boyfriend and I are renting a house; we are both on the lease. He is not paying any bills or rent and I want him to move out but he refuses. Is there any way to have him evicted without getting evicted myself?  Also, I have a deadbolt on my bedroom door and I have told the ex-boyfriend not to go in the room. However, he broke into it and stole an expensive TV. I filed a police report and they told me that because we used to be a couple and live as a “family” that this guy has a right to lay claim on the TV that I bought. They said he could claim half of everything that is in my house. We are not married, so I didn’t think that sounded right. What are my options with this situation?

Asked on September 2, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Florida

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

If you and your former boyfriend signed a written lease with your landlord for the unbit you both occupy but have no written agreement between you both setting forth the obligations that each of you owe the other about the rental, you are in a difficult situation if he is occupying the unit but not paying any of the expenses.

Under your agreement with the landlord signed by both of you (assuming you have a written agreement) sets forth your obligations to the landlord and vice versa in the absence of conflicting state law. However, there is an implied agreement between you and your former boyfriend to equally pay the expenses of the unit you share.

If he is not paying his fair share, you are in a difficult situation.

One way to try and resolve the situation is to see if somehow your landlord will initiate eviction proceedings against your former boyfriend for his failure to pay rental share. If the landlord assists you in the eviction process and your former boyfriend is evicted from the unit, you would be able to get a new roommate.

Another option is to bring a small claims action against your former boyfriend for the amounts that you are paying beyond what you should be obligated as well as for the television he took. However, doing so while he is in your unit could create more problems for you.

Good luck.

 


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