My roommate is trying to get me evicted. Does she have grounds? Furthermore, what actions can I take?
I'll try to make this as brief as possible, but as a warning, it is long.
I signed a one-year lease agreement for a two-bedroom apartment in a residential duplex. The landlord owns the entire property and lives on the upper two floors of the house. She rents out the bottom to us. I did not know my roommate previously. She had lived there a year before I moved in.
Things were fine the first month or so. I was casually involved with a man who would occasionally stay the night. By occasionally, I mean once per week -- at the very most 2 nights. My guest would come over around 10:30 or 11 PM and come immediately to my bedroom. He came over at these hours due to late work hours. We would quietly talk, watch movies, and such. We were always respectful and never in the “common areas” (i.e. living room, dining room, kitchen). I never introduced him to my roommate at this point because she would be in bed by then. Also, the nature of our “relationship” at this point was non-exclusive and how do you say? A casual hook-up.
At the end of August, my roommate brought up that she felt uncomfortable with my casual hook-up coming over late at night. I sympathized with her and asked her what I could do in which she responded with, “I don’t know.” I said I would try to deal with it. Due to a combination of personal issues as well as her concern, I ended things with him.
Several weeks later, my “hook-up” and I ended up working things out. He ceased to be my hook-up any longer and became my full-fledged boyfriend. His visits increased to approximately 2-3 times per week, always at the aforementioned late hours, always when she was already in bed. Nothing more was said on her part.
I would like to point out that I am rarely at home because of the somewhat grueling 60-80 hour workweeks that I keep. I’d also like to point out that I am rarely in the common area and mostly in my bedroom – working or playing on my computer, reading, et cetera. I have had two of my female friends over, aside from my boyfriend. I have introduced them both and asked for permission to have them stay. We have mostly contained ourselves to the outdoor porch. She has had various visitors over; a week previous she had a male “friend” visit and stay with us for six days. I was given notification prior to his visit but never formally introduced. She has had two male friends without notification over while I was there and I was never formally introduced. I am bringing this up not because I have a problem with this, but because of the exact opposite. I did not then nor do I now care that I was never introduced.
On Friday morning, my roommate stuck a note on my door informing me that she needed to talk to me sometime this weekend. I worked the entire weekend accruing roughly 35 hours. I did not have the opportunity to speak with her, let alone sleep. I have my timesheets available.
Anyway, on Tuesday night I had my boyfriend come over for the night. He showed up around midnight and came through the front entrance. We were quietly talking when we were interrupted by a loud knock on my door. She demanded that I come out. She then informed me if I did not she would call the police. In my estimation a minute passed as I was putting on my pants and she was on the phone with the police.
The police showed up and my roommate started accusing my boyfriend, who at this point was out in the living room area with us, of “breaking and entering.” She accused me of sneaking him in and out through the side door (we both had no idea where the side door was) and said that she had eyewitnesses. She said I had been sneaking him through my window. I admit that in the past, this was true on several occasions. It was easier and less noisy than having him come through the front door. She said she feared for her safety. She said that she was missing five pairs of underwear and accused my boyfriend or some other random stranger that I somehow let in of stealing them. She said that at one point I had left my bedroom screen and window open all night long. I admit I did that. I had forgotten to close it. She accused me of having multiple men over, which I denied. It quite simply is not true. She said she thought I was suicidal, which I am not.
I was calm and informed the police that I pay half the rent, this was my boyfriend, and he entered through the front door. He comes over at late hours because of the job he has. The police said that I should be more careful about locking the window and that one of us should probably start looking for a new place to live. When the police left, my boyfriend and I went out on the porch and had a cigarette. Since the police never told him to leave and I felt having him leave would admit that I was in the wrong, he came back in. We waited in the kitchen/entry way so I could speak with her. She was on the phone with her mother and standing in the hall. She said I was trying to sneak him in. I replied that no, I was not. We were waiting for her to get off the phone so we could speak with her. She got off her phone and said something along the lines of fearing for her safety and trying to get me evicted, in which I would be forced to find a replacement for myself.
I responded with a very tired, “Good night” and went into my bedroom with my boyfriend. We promptly fell asleep but awoke a bit later to her answering the door. She had someone over and we assume this person came over to “protect” her. In the morning, she had her parents over. I overheard her saying that she had spoken to one of the landlords (there are 2 joint landlords for our place). She told her parents that he was getting the papers for my eviction. Furthermore, she was speaking to a lawyer at some point as well. I told me co-worker and my boss over the phone and they basically laughed and said she had no grounds. My boyfriend said that she has no grounds and if they do try to evict me, I will have a 30-day notice. As we were leaving, her parents stood on the porch watching us.
I’ve tried to contact my landlord via email and cell phone. She has not responded. I have called several numbers for tenant’s rights but have not been able to speak to anyone. I stumbled upon a copy of this letter
for a renter’s rights for guests. I’ve read up on the eviction process and found this web site
. I also perused the lease. The only term that the lease states that I am somewhat worried about is this: “RESIDENT PROMISES: 1) Not to act in a loud, boisterous, unruly, or thoughtless manner or disturb the rights of the others in any way that is illegal or dangerous or which would cause cancellation, restriction, or increase in premium in Management’s insurance..”
My questions are as follows: Does she have grounds to pursue my eviction from the place? If so, what should I expect? What can I do to equip myself for this upcoming eviction battle? Do you think I will be evicted and if so, what is that process like? What should I do?