If your other roommates kick you out and you’re all on the lease do they have to give you warning?

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If your other roommates kick you out and you’re all on the lease do they have to give you warning?

My roommates decided to ambush me the other day telling me to get out. I was forced to go with them to a notary and sign myself off the lease under a considerable amount of duress. They took my key and I can only come get my things when they say it’s alright. Is this just something you can do?

Asked on February 5, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Kansas

Answers:

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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Since you are on the lease you are a legal tenant.  And only a landlord can evict a tenant - not  a roommate(s).  Accordingly, they had no right to ask you to vacate the premises.  If they are withholding your belongings this is both a civil and criminal matter.  You should consult with an attorney to help you further or at least contact a tenant's rights organization or your local court.

Additionally, a person can't arbitrarily just sign off of a lease (duress or not).  A lease is a contract and you are bound by it.  Consequently you are still a legal tenant.

I don't know what the specific situation for asking you to leave is.  Perhaps you are behind in your rent?  If so, your roommates can sue you in small claims court for any amounts they have had to pay to the landlord on your behalf.  Even so, they cannot take the actions that they have against you.


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