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You Asked: How Do I Kick My Roommate Out?

Dear Sugar,

My roommate moved to Seattle (my town) from Indiana at the end of June after I had secured a lease on an apartment. We had never met before, except online through a mutual hobby. She moved in time to go to an interview for a job she did not end up getting. A month went by before she found work, leaving me to pay the rent in its entirety, with the agreement that she'd pay me back once she found a job. Meanwhile, as she sat at home looking for a job all day, she did nothing to clean the apartment. I would come home from work, do the dishes, clean up the place, make dinner, and then go to bed. Rinse, repeat.

She finally got a job, and then lost it three weeks later. This was not her fault, but regardless, it has been three weeks since she lost her job and she still does not have another. Not even a minimum wage job to tide her over until she finds a web design job she wants. And yet again, she fails to do anything around the apartment.

I can't stand the fact that I'm living with someone I find to be irresponsible. In addition to the lack of cleaning, lack of job, and lack of ability to pay rent on time, I hate her dog. I walk in every night and the dog is all over me. She doesn't do anything to stop it, so I always feel like the bad guy for disciplining it. We are both on the lease. I've already inquired about switching roommates and the landlord said it wouldn't be a problem, but how do I tell her I want her out? She has no money and no job, but I'm simply miserable! — At My Wits End Emma

To see DearSugar's answer,


Dear At My Wits End Emma,

Yikes, your situation really does sound miserable. While I understand helping your roommate once, there's absolutely no reason why you should be carrying the weight yet again, so it's time to put your foot down and be firm with her. Everyone knows it's a difficult time to find a job, but she's a grown adult who should have planned for this, or at least gotten a part-time job in the meantime so she can pay her share of the bills.

This woman has not been taking your feelings into consideration, and while I don't feel that two wrongs make a right, I think you should concentrate on yourself right now. Your home needs to be a place where you're comfortable, and your roommate has to be someone you trust and who respects your living space; she clearly doesn't fit that model.

If I were you, I'd just be honest with her. Tell her that it's simply not working out and you no longer want to live together. If she puts up a stink, be aware that you might be the one that has to move since both your names are on the lease. Regardless of who gets the actual apartment, it's very clear that you two are not meant to be roommates. In order to salvage your relationship (if you even want to), I suggest you broach the subject as soon as possible, because something has got to give! Good luck.


Join The Conversation
Janine22 Janine22 8 years
I agree with Vsugar, she should be paying her portion of the rent directly to the landlord, you should not be handling her money, it is her responsibilty. Just tell her that you can no longer afford to help her, you simply do not have the money. That's all you need to say, don't argue with her or allow her to try to negotiate.
cubadog cubadog 8 years
Ckeller is right on. Part of this is your fault all of the things that are happening should have been dicussed before you moved in together. Since her name is on the lease there is not much that you can do to be honest. The apartment manager doesn't care about the drama as long as the rent is getting paid. You need to sit down with her immediately and tell her that you she needs to find a way to cover her rent, must clean, and she needs to watch after her dog. The poor thing probably needs to get out for a long walk anyway.
RockAndRepublic RockAndRepublic 8 years
Tell her that if she doesn't find a job soon, that she'll have to start looking for a new apartment, as you'll be looking for a new roommate. I doubt the landlord would take her side seeing as she cant even hold down a job, unlike you.
lawchick lawchick 8 years
I agree with ckeller that this is not necessarily as simple as you making the decision whether she stays or goes. I have been in this situation and it was a mess. I ended up being the one to leave because she didn't want to, but my name was on the lease for the rest of the term, which made me a nervous wreck. Honestly if talking to her doesn't work, I would consider breaking the lease and starting over without her.
Marci Marci 8 years
This is a business relationship and nothing more. If she can't pay the rent and clean up, she's got to go. Give her a deadline of when she needs to have a job by or else she has to move out. Period. No leeway or else she'll know she can play you.
sugarbritches sugarbritches 8 years
Great advice Vsugar! That's the way I would handle it also. I would imagine this chick already knows what she's doing and is just waiting out to see how long it will take you before you say something. Don't wait to have the conversation or things will escalate...
ckeller825 ckeller825 8 years
The thing is, it's not that simple...especially in an apartment complex. Even though the landlord will accept another roommate to take over her part of the lease, her name IS on the lease. Therefore, it doesn't matter to the landlord who is paying what, as long as rent is being paid, and if you can only afford your part of the rent and nobody pays her part, it's legally both of your fault. So here's to hoping that when you sit her down and talk about your issues with her financially, she will understand where you are coming from and either A) get a job asap, or B) move out so you can have another roommate. I've had to deal with this issue before, and it was a TOTAL nightmare. Since my roommate was on the lease with me and my other roommates, the landlord said she can leave as long as the total rent is being paid, but it's up to her whether or not she wants to leave, regardless of her financial issues, because her name is on the lease. They also mentioned that if it comes down to it, we would need a lawyer, and we obviously didn't have that kind of money. I'm just hoping that my management was really bad and that your situation will be better.
princess_eab princess_eab 8 years
Have you tried talking to her at all? I'm just asking because in my experience, people assume roommates won't change or listen. It's just like any other relationship, you have to tell her what you expect. If you have, and it hasn't made a difference, she needs to pay you the money and get out.
Jammi Jammi 8 years
I agree with the others, keep it strictly business, although for the dog issue you might want to say you don't feel comfortable having her dog jump on you when you come in from work can she keep him in her room or something to that affect. About the cleanliness issue, you could create a cleaning schedule? As in who cleans what, etc. so you're not out and out calling her a slob and if/when she doesn't follow it do as sunday green says and leave her stuff for her to clean up. Though if she's making the living room or bathroom gross call her on it. Good luck on this, I don't think I'd have the patience to deal with someone like this, rough times or not.
Vsugar Vsugar 8 years
I think having the discussion in terms of purely financial issues is the way to go - You sit her down and say, "Look, I WISH I had the financial means to provide you with a cushion through this difficult time, but I just don't. If I didn't need a roommate to help with the bills, I would live alone, and I just can't afford to continue paying the rent by myself. I am going to start looking for another roommate, and unless something about your financial situation changes very soon, I need to ask you to leave since you aren't holding up your end of the financial agreement." Because if you say "I don't like your dog or your mess, get out you freeloader" she's going to try to turn this into a total guilt trip about you kicking her out during her time of need. You need to put it in terms she can understand, and can't argue with. She can say "I don't have anywhere to go" all she wants, and all you have to say in response is: I CAN'T PAY YOUR RENT ANYMORE. I CAN'T AFFORD IT EITHER!! It's ridiculous. Kick her out, unceremoniously. And if she's also on the lease, she should be paying her portion of the rent directly to the landlord - you shouldn't be responsible for that - and then the LANDLORD should kick her out.
sundaygreen sundaygreen 8 years
Besides being irresponsible, I don't understand how anyone could be so casual about being unemployed and not pulling their weight if they're sharing a house with someone. I would be, quite frankly, embarrassed if my roommate had to cover my rent or clean up after me. Before you kick her sorry ass out, tell her how you feel and maybe she'll change her ways. Say you can't afford to carry her for another month, and she'll have to find a way to make the rent money. And, don't clean up after her! Don't make her supper, don't do her dishes, don't pick up her dirty laundry. She's an adult, you're not her mother.
tomatoshirt tomatoshirt 8 years
Did you express your concerns to her?
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