How to evict a roommate?

Question Details:One of our roomates has not paid rent in the last 2 months. When the lease was renewed last month he refused to be listed on the lease. At that time we asked him to leave the house. He said he would but of course never did. He has done damage to the property and we suspect him of theft and drug use. We have called the police multiple times but they have told us there is nothing they can do. Can we change the locks, put locks on the bathrooms, anything at all even just to inconvenience him? We would really love to have him evicted, but it seems like noone knows what to do. Everyone we have asked for advice so far, including the clerk at the court house doesn't have the answer.

Asked 2 years ago under Landlord / Tenant | 771 Views | More Legal Topics

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M.D., Member, California and New York Bar | FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney Answered 2 years ago

Since your roommate was on the lease the was executed with your landlord at one point but no longer is, he is what is known as a "holdover tenant". Accordingly, it is up to your landlord to file an unlawful detainer (i.e. eviction lawsuit). He has standing to go to court; you and you other roommates do not. In the meantime, take no "self-help" measures against him such as changing the locks, etc. He could take legal action against you if you do.

At this point you should speak with an attorney who specilizes ni landlord-tenant matters or at least get some more information from a tenant's rights group if there is one in your area.

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