If my roommate refuses to move out, what can I do?

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If my roommate refuses to move out, what can I do?

My roommate and I are both legal tenant of the apartment. And I was told that I’m the primary tenant and have the right to ask roommate to move out, which I did. But she refused to move. My apartment is month-to-month payment, there is no lease. My roommate and I only filled out an application stating the basic info and financial background.

Asked on December 31, 2012 under Real Estate Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

There is no such thing as a "primary tenant," unless you mean that only you are renting from the landlord, while your roommate is then subletting from you. If that's not the case, then you are both simply tenants, and one tenant has no right to make the other tenant move out. If there is not written lease, you are both month-to-month tenants on an oral/verbal lease; that means that while you can't force her to leave, either she or you could terminate the tenancy on 30 days notice--so you could move out if you wanted. Bear in mind that if she does choose to move out and provides her 30 days notice to the landlord, you will then be responsible for the entire rent.


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