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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: 5323
Experience:  16 years of legal experience including real estate law.
4460311
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Recent Roommate Questions

  • I live in a private community in Connecticut. There was a young

    I live in a private community in Connecticut. There was a young guy who od &died ,who was living here. his girlfriend is refusing to move out neither he nor his girlfriend(his 2nd girlfriend) have not paid any lot rent to our community in years. THe girlfriend has no claim to the home it was in her dead boyfriends name. The community was in the process of evicting the guy before he died for nonpayment of rent. Now that he is dead does the girlfriend have any rights to stay, she has also not paid any lot rent since he died. Rob
  • We used the Hero program to install turf on our property. The

    We used the Hero program to install turf on our property. The contractor of the job hired sub-contractors to do other work. At the end of the project when I had to sign off on it he told me that all their bills have been paid and there will be no leins on our property. Last week we received lein paper work from an equipment rental place with a balance of 2100.00. The contractor says it's not his problem! The sub- contractor who rented the equipment has dissppered. What can we do?
  • I am president of our small, 15 home, senior community HOA.

    I am president of our small, 15 home, senior community HOA. One of the homes has been in foreclosure and the lender is getting ready for a Sheriff's Sale. So, our HOA has been named as a defendent in the "Complaint for Deed of Trust Foreclosure in REM". The Defendant's "Interest" column for our HOA is striked out (---- ) indicating that we have no interest in the foreclosure. Four other individuals are also in the list with interest as "Intestate Successors". The HOA is owed arount $320.00 in arrears dues but this is so small that we are willing to skip the collection of this amount. We do not intend to put a lien against any sale. We also do not want to be blindsided by a lawsuit against the HOA. Question 1: Can you site any cases where an HOA was sued to recover mortgage loan losses for one individual home? Ours is a rather typical Protective Covenants and no one is signator to the mortgage loan. The property has lost value since it was purchased in 2010. Question 2: Is it considered "not a good idea" or "bad legal process" for me to contact the Plaintiff lawer and try to understand their intent? My goal would be to work with them.

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