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Roommate Laws and Rights

When finding that perfect home or apartment often times younger individuals find a close friend to move in with them to be their roommate. This is so the bills are split up and they can live together while saving money. When having a roommate it may seem like the best thing to do, however, if a person has never lived with a roommate, there could be more responsibilities that they are unaware of and this will create some roommate issues and cause questions regarding roommate laws and roommate rights. Read below where the Experts online have answered the roommate questions and have giving legal answers to roommate issues.

What is a roommate contract?

Mainly a roommate contract is an outlined document that states agreements and rules between both roommates. A roommate contract can also be called a roommate agreement. This type of agreement or contract can create a protective method too many problems that can come up between two roommates while living together. Many believe instead of waiting for the problem to happen and then deciding what the right step to take is, those individuals believe that having each roommate in the house sign a roommate contract will help prevent these problems. Many times a roommate contract is not legally required; these are meant to be a guideline for many types of living situations.

What are the steps in evicting a roommate?

When problems occur between two roommates, often times one roommate makes to decision to evict the other. There are legal steps that will need to be followed in order to protect a person from any legal damages. The first step would be to overlook the lease. If both parties names are stated on the lease, the roommate will not have legal right to evict the other. In order to do this the individual will need to contact the landlord and have the landlord legally remove them from the home. Next, the individual will need to look into their state tenant laws, because these laws are different in each state. The roommate will need to give the other roommate at least a 30 day written notice of eviction. These steps can be very easy at times, but in order to make sure you are taking the legal steps, individuals can look into their local laws to protect them from and legal matters.

In the state of New York, if a roommate was removed by local authorities and a protection order, this individual has made an agreement with the landlord to leave their things behind to pay off the breaking of the lease, what is the statute of limitation for joint property?

If the property was shared, then this individual would have right to 50% of the property. Since, the individual has made an agreement with the landlord, the landlord would need to be a witness stating that there was an agreement, and that after the roommate was removed they had given up their right to any of their belongings in order to pay for the breaking of the lease agreement. In many cases, when an individual moves from a home, they will try to come to some type of agreement with their roommate in order to receive their belongings, either it be to buy the property back at a lower cost, or they take what they can and leave the rest. The individual’s right to the property will carry out for at least three years, because this is the statute of limitation in the state of New York.

In the state of Oregon if a roommate has issued the other roommate with a 30 day eviction notice, what can they do about getting the roommate to remove their things so they can rent the room again?

Before this individual can physically remove the other roommates belongings they will need to first bring an action against the previous renter for an “unlawful detainer action”. If the roommate wins the lawful detainer action the authorities can post a notice for the roommate to leave the property along with their belongings. If the roommate does not obey by this then the local authorities can accompany them to have the locks changed, and if the roommate is in the house then the local authorities can remove that person. Once again if the individual wins the case, the other roommate will have to pay for the attorney fees and if any costs the individual ran into to bring the lawsuit to court.

In the state of Delaware how can someone evict their roommate who is not on the lease?

The individual, who is legally on the lease, will be looked at as the “landlord” of the roommate who is not on the lease. When conflicts arise and a roommate who is not on the lease is being evicted the individual who is on the lease must give them a 5 day notice to quit according to the Delaware law. What this means is that the individual must leave the property within that time period or they can be looking at a formal eviction. Then, if this individual still has not left, the landlord will need to file a petition for an eviction order. Once this is received, the landlord can have the local authorities to remove this person from the property. The landlord will be allowed to file a claim against this person for any unpaid rent, unpaid utility bills and any damages that is not covered by the security deposit.

When roommate questions and roommate rights come up, many people are unaware of what they are legally able to do. Whether it relates to a roommate agreement or the roommate eviction laws there are many questions and problems that come up with living with a friend. For more information about the roommate laws contact the Legal Experts online.

Ask a Real Estate Lawyer

Tina
Tina, Lawyer
Category: General
Satisfied Customers: 5329
Experience:  17 years of legal experience including real estate law.
4460311
Type Your Real Estate Law Question Here...
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  • Ely – this is Will Wallace pro se again. One of the opposing

    Ely – this is Will Wallace pro se again.
    One of the opposing Philadelphia/national law firms Marshall Dennehey Warner Coleman & Goggin represent two of our former attorneys in two separate pending lawsuits Wallace v Tupitza and CNA Defendants and Wallace v Jokelson et al before two different judges in the Court Of Common Pleas for Chester Co. PA. I have argued the following regarding Marshall Dennehey representation of Jokelson:
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    Marshall Dennehey withdrawal now will not cure the already poisoned wells of both actions, and Marshall Dennehey conflicts are commingled with the Wallace v CNA Defendants and Tuptiza action against Tupitza for breach of duty by conflict of interest as well as Wallace v. Klehr Harrison action against Klehr Harrison for breach of duty by conflict of interest.
    footnotes:
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    2. Professional Responsibility Rule 1.7 conflict of interest:
    1) the representation of one client will be directly adverse to another client.
    [a] concurrent conflict of interest exists if:
    (2) there is a significant risk that the representation of one or more clients
    will be materially limited by the lawyer’s responsibilities to another client, a
    former client or a third person or by a personal interest of the lawyer.
    Vanderveer Group v. Petruny, 1994 WL 314257 (E.D.Pa.1994) Troutman, J.:
    "Both [Pa.R.P.C.] Rule 1.7 and Rule 1.9 give effect to the overarching principle that an attorney owes a duty of loyalty to clients and should not be involved in litigation in which loyalties to two current clients or to a current and former client are likely to be divided. Thus, an attorney should avoid situations in which the duty of loyalty to one client might be impaired by the equally important duty to
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    Maritrans GP Inc. v Pepper, Hamilton & Scheetz, 602 A.2d 1277, 1292 (1992)
    “There is a presumption of misuse of a client’s confidences whenever a conflict exists and therefore the breach of duty alone is actionable…Moreover, the majority in the instant appeal concedes that the concern is not that actual disclosure has occurred, but that the circumstances create significant potential for such disclosure” (emphasis added) quoting Justice Cardozo in Woods v. City Nat’l. Bank & Trust Co., 312 U.S. 262, 61 S.Ct. 493, 85 L.Ed. 820: "A fiduciary…may not…insist[] that although he had conflicting interests, he served his several masters equally well or that his primary loyalty was not weakened by the pull of his secondary one. … [emphasis added]
    Middleburg v. Middleburg, 427 Pa. 114, 115, 233 A.2d 889, 890 (1967) “The test of whether an attorney has conflicting interests so as to preclude his representation of a party is not actuality of conflict, it is the possibility that a conflict may arise”. [emphasis added]
    - - - - - -
    Ely - QUESTION – I don’t believe I have a claim against Marshall Dennehey, because they never represented us. I'm not really interested in getting them disqualified because they are a big target for me at the jury trial – but is there PA case-law or statute that impacts their client defendants?
    e.g. HAVE MARSHALL DENNEHEY SO POISONED THE WELL OF THEIR TWO CLIENT ATTORNEY DEFENDANTS THAT THE TWO ATTORNEY DEFENDANTS MUST BE FOUND LIABLE?
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