If I kicked my roommate out, what could happen?

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If I kicked my roommate out, what could happen?

On the apartment lease I am listed as the tenant. My roommate is listed under “other occupants”. This happened because at the time of signing the lease she could not produce proof of income. The leasing agent listed only me since my income was proven and enough to cover all rent and utilities. Due to poor relations I kicked my roommate out today. Can she legally come after me for this?

Asked on March 29, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Oklahoma

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Was she paying rent--either paying part of the rent to the landlord, or paying rent directly to you? (And in this context, "paying rent" includes regularly paying utilities or other expenses as her rent contribution.) If she was paying rent, she was a tenant of yours--i.e., you were subletting to her. In that case, then you improperly evicted her (since a tenant or subtenant may only be evicted for breach of lease, for nonpayment of rent, at the expiration of a lease, on 30 days notice if there  is only an oral lease, or for certain other good causes, like willfully destroying the landlord's properly); also, even if she gave you good cause for eviction, to properly evict a tenant, you must do it through the courts. Since you improperly evicted her, she could possibly bring a legal action seeking either reinstatement and/or monetary compensation.


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