Kicking a "roommate" out...

I apologize in advance… I’m a bit angry about this, so it probably drones on a bit as a rant.

I’ll be moving into a new apartment at the end of the month, and it looks like a girl who is already living there (but not on the lease) is going to be a major pain in the ass.

Feel free to skip to the question.

Background story:
She is the cousin of a guy that is on the current lease, though she specifically is not on the lease. She’s occupying his room over the summer and paying his rent, which is quite low - I think because there are currently 6 roomates in the apartment.

Four of the roomates - including her cousin - are moving out at the end of the month - when the current lease expires - and myself, my girlfriend, and a friend are moving in. Since there will be a new, smaller set of roommates, and because there is a new lease with a new amount for rent, we expect that the rent for each room will be renegotiated based on some neutral criteria. We all agree that a price based on the area of each room is fair - except for this girl.

She refuses to pay anything but what she is paying now. When we explain that the cost she is expecting was not agreed upon by any of the new roomates, she declares that it was promised by her cousin, who neither consulted us nor will be on the new lease. When we politely suggested moving to a smaller room for a lower rent, she declared that she had already chosen her room and that she would not be moving from it.

I should mention that she has dictated that she will pay only 20% more than what we’d be paying. But the room is over 10% larger, has a walk-in closet, and an attached bathroom with full bath. She demands “fairness” while refusing to pay more despite that we four roomates will have smaller rooms, closets one third the size of hers, and have to share one bathroom.

The questions:
She didn’t sign the lease yet, but we have. As a precaution, I’ve asked the manager’s office to keep anyone else from signing the lease without anyone on the new lease present.

  1. Are there any problems with “locking down” the lease like this?

  2. If she refuses to move by the time the new lease goes into effect, and if she is not on the lease, I’m assuming she has no right to reside there and I can kick her out if I choose so. Am I correct here?

Thanks for your help.

She sublet from the former leaseholders. Her claim ends with the old lease, if it existed at all. Give her notice in writing within thirty days and tell her you don’t want her as a roommate. (Believe me, you don’t.) Let her know as soon as possible, so she has time to find a place to live. Be willing to give her one extension, in writing in return for an agreement in writing to vacate the premises and pay all bills at the end of that extension.

Expect histrionics.


Wouldn’t it be the landlord’s responsibility to give her notice to vacate and begin eviction proceedings? She doesn’t have any right to stay on past the end of the lease if the landlord wants to rent to someone else.

Actually, that’s an interesting point. Surely you can just say to the landlord that you expect to move in to a vacated apartment?

With respect, are you sure she’s the problem and not you? Just consider that you are the one changing the arrangements, and expecting her to accomodate your changes. Is there any particular reason why she should? She was there first.

So, the arrangement is changing from 6 sharing to 5 sharing, right? Does this mean that you have a spare bedroom going? Why not seek a sixth person to take the room, rather than impose a rent increase on the others.

You may, perhaps, be legally in the right. That doesn’t neccessarily mean you’re being fair.

I’m missing something here. If the lease ends at date x, and you assume the lease on date x, isn’t there the expectation that it will be vacated on that date? If in fact the apartment is not vacated, would not that mean that the landlord is in violation of the lease agreement? Why should you have to even deal with this chick?

Because she’s not on the lease. It doesn’t matter when she moved in; she’s a squatter with no rights unless/until she has a lease in her own name.

I’m curious: is it legal in your state/locality for someone who is not listed on the lease to reside in the leased premises? If she’s not on the lease, then doesn’t that mean that the lessor can demand she depart?

Legally speaking, she has no rights. The leaseholders and/or landlord can ask her to agree to whatever terms they wish and she either has to agree or move out.

But I have to wonder if she may be in the right. According to the OP, she’s already agreed to pay a larger rent than the other occupants. So while she may be getting the best room, she’s been there the longest and is paying the highest rent.

I don’t understand. How is it his problem?

If I understand correctly, there’s a new lease coming up. Any old arrangements are null and void by the time of the new lease. The cousin will no longer be living there. I presume the girlfriend is staying there because she wants to keep her space.

For the new lease, prices had to be renegotiated, due to different roommates, different amount of people, different circumstance, etc. Everybody, except this girl, agrees on this point. She has no right to impose her price or her will on the rest of the roommates. First of all, she’s not even on the friggin lease now. She’s subletting from her cousin. Second of all, just because her cousin got one deal does not mean she’s entitled to the same deal, especially when circumstances in the apartment have changed.

Kick her out, I say. You’re not the one being unreasonable.

Sorry, I mean “the cousin of the guy who lived there” not “girlfriend.”

However, a 20% premium for the room doesn’t sound wholly outrageous. If you kick her out, how much more will you be charging for that room?

I’m not even sure why whether her rent is fair or not is even being discussed. The girl’s cousin had a lease, which will end soon. This new guy has a new lease starting soon. Is it not expected that the property will be vacated, clean, etc at the time he assumes the lease? Is it not the owner’s responsibility to make the place clean and ready for occupancy (including removing the girl)? I’d think if the owner cannot get the girl out and get the place cleaned up, the lease would be null and void.

I’m failing to see why he would have any obligation at all to deal with the girl.

She’s not in the right at all. She’s not on the lease. The person she is subletting from is not on the lease. If someone who actually is on the lease wants that room, then they should be able to get it.

IANAL, but I don’t see the girl as having any rights to either the room or her pricing demands. You have been generous to try to include her. If she doesn’t like your offer (and won’t negotiate a different one with you), have her kicked out but the landlord.

I’ve got nothing new to add, but I also wanted to chime in and say she has no rights. She’s not on the lease, and thus is expected to move out.

A family living near me in Monterey some years ago was evicted by the landlord. The reason for the eviction was they had people living there who were not on the lease.

Are you willing to lose the roof over your head, along with losing the roof over her head, by caving into her demands? What would you do if she decided to remain and not pay a cent as she’s not on the lease?

Seems to me that caving in to her is dicey, and that telling her to find a lease to sign, preferably elsewhere, is peachy.

Except that the lease is coming up for renewal, and as I understand it she wants to be on the new lease in her own right. Her cousin is moving out (officially) , and she wants to take over the room officially. Meanwhile, another tennent is moving out, and the OP wishes to take over the room. ISTM that the girl has got just as much right as the OP to take a room that someone else is leaving. Except, the catch is that the OP wants to change the arrangements, and his changes mean more expense for this girl. And if she doesn’t accept the extra expense, he wants to chuck her out. Do you think he’s being fair?

Possibly he has the law on his side, but “legally right” and “right” are two different things.

Yes, he is being entirely fair. He has no obligation to her or her whack-ass sense of entitlement.

In the US we do not recognize squatter’s rights, so the fact that she is there now means nothing. We do recognize tenants rights, but as of now, this girl has no legal standing and is not making herself any friends with her complete unreasonableness (the signed lesees have tried to accomodate her in several ways).

Her behavior is an indicator of more unreasonableness in the future – kick her to the curb, and pronto.

mks57 - Not necessarily. Just because the lease ends does not necessarily mean you can just boot someone out. Especially if they continue to pay rent.
Peter Morris - Also a valid point. They are there first.


Here’s how I see it. The lease is ending and there are two occupants who wish to continue living there. Another three want to move in. To continue living there, the current occupants need to either resign the lease or negotiate a new one.

Most likely the rent will be the same or more for the following year. That means the two current occupants will need to bring someone else in (you guys) to cover the rest of the obligation. The way I see it, either you (or someone else) moves in or they will be forced to move out since they won’t want to cover a 6 bedroom between the two of them.

To answer your specific questions:

  1. The problem is that the manager is under no obligation to hold the appartment. It’s just easier to wait a month for you guys to work your shit out than to go to eviction procedings.

  2. As I mentioned, if you don’t move in, she and the other roomate will be on the hook for the balance of the rent.
    Basically you need to contact the landlord and get together with whoever is going to be living in that appartment and draw up a new lease. That’s what they are there for.

Subletting is generally a matter of convienience if someone has to move mid lease, but creating a bizarre network of intertwining sublets with cousins and girlfriends and whatnot is a big mistake.

There’s a reason I usually live in studios and one bedrooms. 20something (which I assume your friends are) roomates tend to suck. They have no money. They tend to be selfish and flakey (hey “can my girlfriend and six dudes sleep over this month?”). They tend to drink or do drugs and stay out late. The have late night “guests” or they don’t leave the appartment at all.

3 out of 4 people who want to live in the house have agreed to a system of deciding how to split the rent. If the fourth doesn’t like it, she has the option to move out. So yes, I think it’s fair.