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Getting Rid of Someone Not on a Lease who's Stopped Paying Rent & Moved Other Tenants In - without Permission

I have a leased apartment and have allowed someone to move in, who is not on the lease agreement. Recently, they have stopped paying rent and moved a third party into the apartment. It's been vocalized that it's not ok for rent not to be paid and for this third party to live in the apartment. What kind of recourse do is there to get both people out of the apartment? From what I have read, our landlord would need to assist OR evict all of us. My landlord and I have a good track record, but I have not been renting there for more than a year. I pay rent on time and in full, even though not receiving my roommate's portion of the rent and maintain the property, keeping it neat and tidy. I report any damages and he has been great about fixing them quickly. My roommate is truly irresponsible, not paying rent OR utilities, not cleaning up after themselves and, now, moving someone else in with no notice or permission from anyone. Suggestions would be tremendously appreciated.

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Submitted Tue, 10/25/2016 - 09:28

If your roommate is not on the lease, then your Landlord cannot take any action against just that roommate. Your landlord doesn't have a contractual relationship with them. If they pay rent to you, they are your subtenant, and you are their landlord. You are correct that your landlord can evict EVERYONE in the apartment only. Your landlord can only take legal action against you, as the person who signed the lease, and by taking in a subtenant, you become legally responsible for violations committed by the subtenant as well. If the landlord didn't approve the subtenant or you stopped paying all the rent due under the lease, you (and the subtenant) could be evicted for that as well.

The only option you would have, would be to proceed with evicting the subtenant yourself. The first step is to provide them with a written notice to quit for failure to pay rent. If they don't leave, you would have to go to court to file an eviction yourself. If the roommate owes you money, you can also go to small claims court to get the money back, but if you don't have any kind of written agreement with them and it's all verbal, it will be harder to prove they owe you money for rent or utilities (though not impossible). There is also really no legal action for the fact that your roommate is messy and doesn't clean up after themselves. Absent some kind of written agreement, your roommate also had a right to let someone else move in. You have to proactively prevent someone from being able to bring in a new roommate, if your agreement was silent, they had a right to do so.

Atty. David Owens

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