3 Tips On How To Evict A Roommate

By Kaitlin Hurtado on January 11, 2019

Issues between roommates are not uncommon. Between spending plenty of time together and sharing living spaces, issues between roommate are to be expected. Between accidentally eating each other’s food, or leaving dirty dishes in the sink one too many times, arguments are bound to happen. However, it is not common for arguments or issues to escalate to the point of roommates being uncomfortable in their living spaces due to broken roommate agreements or issues with the lease.

Unfortunately, not all roommate situations are going to be perfect and some do end up becoming roommate horror stories. One of the ways that you can put an end to a bad roommate situation if previous methods did not work out successfully is to evict the roommate(s) that are the cause of the problem you are facing. Evicting should not be your first move in most situations, and it is something that should be well thought out prior to making a final decision. If you are wondering how you can navigate evicting a roommate, here are a few tips to help you through the process of evicting a roommate:

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Identify the reason for evicting the roommate prior to confronting them

When it comes to evicting your roommate, the first thing you should do is identify the reason you are going to be evicting your roommate. You need to have a very clear reason to give to your roommate when telling them that you are going to evict them as it is probably going to be the biggest question they will have. Reflect on the problem you are having and how the roommate specifically relates or has caused the problem. Make sure this reason is logical – you do not want to confront your roommate and only be able to say “I just do not like you.”

Instead, have a reason that would make sense to any person you would bring it up to. Maybe your roommate has consistently failed to pay rent or time, or they are bringing in a pet when your leasing agreement explicitly says there are no pets allowed whatsoever. The clearer and more exact your reason is, the stronger your side of the argument will be when you finally confront your roommate to evict them. Do not include personal feelings when evicting your roommate – look for legal reasons, if possible, to evict your reason, like a breach of a lease agreement.

Consider your other options 

Evicting a roommate is a big leap and an action with a lot of finality. It is not an exactly an easy process, so you should also consider your other options before coming to a final decision. Think about other ways that you can approach the situation. A possible intervention where you sit down and discuss the issue and what you can do in to resolve it. If you think that your roommate is the type to only act when faced with an ultimatum, you can discuss moving out while they are still open to discussion so they do not think you are just going to force them to move out for no reason.

Explore your other options that could be effective in solving the problem – evicting a roommate shouldn’t be your first choice if there are other ways to work it out between you and your roommate.

Confront them in person (not text, email, or call) 

When you are going to evict a roommate, it definitely is not something you can do over text or in a plain letter. Meaning is often lost over text, so may not just take it seriously, or they could even ignore the message. You want to give a sense of immediacy and finality when you confront your roommate – and you definitely want to get your message across right away. If questions or problems do come up when evicting your roommate, it is much easier to discuss it in person where back-and-forth conversation can easily happen and both sides of the situation have equal opportunity to discuss what they want to decide.

Remain calm during the confrontation – excessive anger can escalate the situation a lot more than necessary, and can take the focus off of the actual problem that needs to be discussed.  Avoid having a confrontation over a phone call, or having a rushed confrontation if one or both of you need to get somewhere like their job or class. A rushed confrontation can be ineffective and a waste of time. Tell your roommate ahead of time that you need to talk to them and tell them that it is important so that you both set aside an appropriate amount of time.

Evicting a roommate is not exactly the easiest process to go through, but with these steps in mind, navigating the process can be easier.

By Kaitlin Hurtado

Uloop Writer
Hello! I'm Kaitlin, a fourth year Literary Journalism major at UC Irvine. I'm a writer on Uloop's national team and a campus editor for UCI.

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