View Full Version : Advice needed on evicting a guest

10-30-2012, 01:35 AM
Hi everyone. For the past three months, I've been... subletting, I guess? a room in my apartment to a person whom I met through a mutual friend. For reasons I won't go into, she has turned out to be an insufferable roommate and I really want her gone. I was hoping somebody could provide some (preferably legal) advice on if/how I can get her to leave. The situation is as follows: I rent this two bedroom apartment. I am the sole lessee. Her name is not on the rental contract. My landlord knows she is living with me: the three of us signed a paper and the only things it says are that she could live here as my guest and that she has to move out when I do. But I am the sole person paying the rent to the landlord. Under these circumstances, do I have a legally enforceable right to ask her to leave? I'm pretty sure she'd say no if I just ask her to leave without a legal threat behind it. I would really appreciate any advice. My beautiful home has now become a place I dread returning to because of this person and I am super frustrated.

Aussie Willy
10-30-2012, 01:41 AM
She is your guest so I would have thought you could quite easily unguest her. Just tell her to go.

10-30-2012, 01:50 AM
And if she says she won't? Do I report her to the cops as trespassing or what?

10-30-2012, 01:52 AM
You need to check your local laws. Even if she is not paying rent, you agreed to let her live there and the landlord approved, so if she doesn't go voluntarily at your request, you may need to research the laws on "unlawful detainer" to determine how to evict her. The laws that govern evictions vary from state to state and many cities have their own laws. They usually are expedited procedures, but they can be very technical and require landlords to dot every i and cross every t. That is by design to prevent abuses by slumlords who evict tenants who complain about poor conditions, but the laws can have a lot of traps for the unwary. Check the website of the local housing department or the local courts and they might give you information on what you would need to do to evict her.

In the meantime, you might want to talk to her, say things are not working out, and ask her to leave, giving her a reasonable deadline for her to find a new place. If that doesn't work, you can try eviction.

Catherine M
10-30-2012, 01:55 AM
Is there a third party you can work with to help her find a new place to live? Maybe if you have someone encouraging her to move on, she'll move out on her own.

Each state/municipality has different lease/sublet laws so you'll have to check on that with someone local to your area.

10-30-2012, 01:59 AM
And if she says she won't? Do I report her to the cops as trespassing or what?
This is something you need to research. Don't rely on a message board of people who don't know your laws. If your guest has a legal right to be there and you get the police to kick her out, you could wind up with a lawsuit against you and be subject to fines and penalties.

10-30-2012, 02:11 AM
But I am the sole person paying the rent to the landlord. .

But am I right in assuming she is paying rent to you? If so, in my province she would had the same rights as any tenant, meaning strict eviction protection.

Listen to reckless and get legal advice or research carefully your options yourself.

Good luck to you! I can imagine the nightmare of living with someone you are not compatible with.

10-30-2012, 02:22 AM
If she is paying rent of any form, she would almost certainly be a tenant with legal rights. It won't matter if her name is not on the lease, particularly if the landlord knew she was living there.

10-30-2012, 02:29 AM
Can you ask the mutual friend to help to convince her to leave?

(Going the 'nice' route before eviction)

10-30-2012, 02:42 AM
You definitely want to find out what the laws are in your area. In my twenties I let my boyfriend move into my apartment with me. He was not on the lease. Things went south and I wanted him to leave. He refused, so I called the police. My lease--my apartment. Or so I thought. The police told me because he established residency at my house they couldn't make him leave. What did that mean??? According to the law, his mail coming to my house established his residency at my house. I would have had to sue him if I wanted him gone. He eventually left on his own.

You might just call your local police department on the non emergency line just to see if someone can advise you on your immediate rights.

10-30-2012, 03:04 AM
Can you ask the mutual friend to help to convince her to leave?

(Going the 'nice' route before eviction)

The mutual friend is her boyfriend so pretty sure that wouldn't work out...
reckless (and everyone else too), thank you for the advice. I've looked up unlawful detainer laws in massachussets but I'm just finding a bunch of conflicting and confusing information. Any good web resources you can recommend? I'll have to find a lawyer but Sandy is probably not gonna let me do that for the next couple of days!

10-30-2012, 11:55 AM
DH does that kind of work. We're in Mass. Call you local sherriff's office for guidance. They may be able to suggest lawyers in your town who can help you get the correct paperwork.

10-30-2012, 03:40 PM
There's probably a place on the government web site with landlord/tenant info too. Just Google Massachusetts Landlord Tenant Law. Here's a start:


10-31-2012, 03:20 AM
Do you have a written agreement with her for a specified time or are you on a month to month arrangement? If a written agreement, let her know you will not be renewing. If month to month, is she paying what you are paying? If not, raise the rent to 1/2 your lease amt plus 1/2 utilities.

But I agree, try to talk first. And take pictures of everything & date the pictures so if she gets mad & trashes the place you have a record of what it looked like before the vandalism.