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RealEstateAnswer, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 28058
Experience:  10+ years in handling Leases, Landlord-Tenant, Foreclosures,Mortgages, and Eviction cases
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My daughter is renting an apartment in West Virginia. She is

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My daughter is renting an apartment in West Virginia. She is the only one on the lease. She has a roommate who has lived with her about three months. They exchanged emails before the roommate moved in and generally agreed that the roommate would stay ten to twelve months. There is no formal written agreement. Unfortunately the relationship has soured and my daughter wants the roommate to leave. The roommate says she is not leaving and that they have a legal agreement. What can my daughter do to get the roommate to leave?
Hi! I will be the professional that will be helping you today. I look forward to providing you with information to help solve your problem.

Good morning. Do the emails state anything specific to the terms and conditions of her living there or was it just a general statement regarding how long she would want to stay there? Also, is the landlord aware of the situation?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

The emails focused on lots of personal things as they got to know each other. Very little with regard to Terms and Conditions though my daughter did refer to the roommate's stay as a "lease" Here is an excerpt from one of the emails from the roommate to my daughter..


"""As far as a one year lease goes, I think that definitely makes sense, and I was wondering about details that if I come out end of July, and you said you would be there sooner, when you would want that one year to start? And also, I'm not sure what my plans are for next summer, and I think school ends the end of May, how feasible would it be to sublet or only pay rent for 10 months (assuming I
move or don't stay in Lewisburg, which I don't know)? """

The landlord knows there is a roommate and that my daughter is thinking of having the roommate move out.


Hope this helps.



Dick, thank you for the additional information. It would first need to be determined if there is any type of formal lease agreement or if the friend would be considered a month to month tenant. Based upon the excerpt which you provided above, it would appear that there was no definite start or end to the agreement, so she would likely be considered a month to month tenant. Moreover, if the roommate pays her rent to your daughter and not the landlord, you daughter, who is on the lease and the master tenant, would need to give her the proper written notice to vacate, before any eviction proceeding takes place. The fact that the friendship has gone sour, does not take away the roommates legal right to stay there, since she does reside there and has been living there for three months, paying rent. If the landlord knows of the situation and did not object to it, your daughter would not have to worry about being in violation of the lease agreement, since typically only those people named on it, can reside there. If your daughter provides her with the written notice ( likely 30 days) and she fails to vacate, she would then have to proceed with the eviction through the court. She may also want to try calling the police and advising that her friend is trespassing, to see if they will remove her sooner but since this is a civil matter and there is no court order in place, they may not get involved. You daughter can not use self help to get her out ( i.e. change the locks or just remove her stuff), so if she wants her to leave and they can not agree on how this will happen, then it will have to be ordered by the court.

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