A roommate is someone who lives with you in your home or apartment. In most cases, a roommate helps to pay rent and cover some of the utilities. In other cases, you take on a roommate as a favor to a friend or family member who is going through a rough time and needs a temporary place to live. There may come a time when you need to tell your roommate to leave. The way in which you approach the eviction of a roommate depends upon two things: the laws in your state and the lease agreement.
State Laws Regarding Eviction
Many states, including California, consider 30 days the minimum that someone can live with you before they’re considered a tenant. This means that if you let a friend stay with you for a couple of weeks, you do not have to go through the eviction process to ask them to leave. In Los Angeles and Long Beach, anyone who has lived with you less than 30 days is not considered a tenant, and you can freely ask them to vacate your home without proceeding with legal paperwork. If it’s been longer than 30 days, you will need to go through the eviction process and follow the laws regarding eviction.
Lease Agreements & Eviction
Before you agree to let someone move in, you must read your lease regarding the rules for roommates. Your lease may allow you to have a roommate to help cover expenses, but the landlord may require that a new tenant sign the lease and pay rent directly to the landlord. If the lease allows your roommate to pay rent to you, then he or she is a subtenant. If rent is paid to the landlord, he or she is a co-tenant.
In a subtenant situation, you can file legal paperwork and ask the tenant to leave. If the tenant refuses, you will need to appear before the judge for a court order of Eviction. If it’s a co-tenant situation, than only the landlord can evict the tenant. If your roommate is living with you and you did not follow the rules of the lease agreement, you could be at risk for eviction, too. That’s why it’s important to always follow the lease agreement before allowing anyone to live with you.