Help me kick out my roommate who hasnt payed deposit.
November 15, 2007 10:14 AM   Subscribe

Another evil roommate problem: I share an apartment with my girlfriend and a roommate with a one year lease. Before we moved in in April, my girlfriend and I payed the entire deposit, and we made a verbal agreement with our roommate that she would pay her part the day we moved in. She still hasn't payed us, and now we just want her to move out because we hate her so much.

our roommate is totally unreasonable and acts like she doesn't need to pay us. She also claims that she has the right to stay until the 1 year lease is up, if and when she 'decides' to pay us. We have made tenuous agreements for her to leave, first at the end of December and now she says the end of January "she'll try". We just want to know of there is a way we can legally force her to quit the premises because of her failure to pay even seven months after we moved in together. At this point we would much prefer for her to simply leave, rather than paying us back. Can we use something like this? Or is that just for landlords?
posted by Charlie Lesoine to Law & Government (77 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
 
Is she actually on the lease?
posted by boo_radley at 10:19 AM on November 15, 2007


Response by poster: Yes she is on the lease.
posted by Charlie Lesoine at 10:21 AM on November 15, 2007


what kind of misunderstanding could you possible have that caused her not to pay for 7 months? You need to document all your interactions with her. And I will say it for everyone else, where do you live?
posted by mmascolino at 10:25 AM on November 15, 2007


If she's not on the lease, then she's your tenant and you can kick her out. It's basically the same procedure any landlord would use to get rid of any tenant. If she is on the lease, you'll have to talk to your landlord.

Assuming this is in the USA: Small claims court is your friend in cases like this. My bet is she'll leave before the court date arrives and it's only something in the range of $25 - $50 to file.
posted by TeatimeGrommit at 10:26 AM on November 15, 2007


Did she move in the same time as you? Is she not paying rent at all or has she just recently stopped paying?


(Also, it's paid, not payed.)
posted by electroboy at 10:27 AM on November 15, 2007 [1 favorite]


You forgot to put where you live.

That means that you are not her landlord, so you can't evict her for nonpayment.

You should send her written demands that she pay you. If she doesn't you can take her to court, small claims if you have that in your jurisdiction. Of course, suing someone you live with is not likely to generate happy feelings.

When you write up your complaint, remember that for this sense of the word it is "paid," not "payed."
posted by grouse at 10:27 AM on November 15, 2007


Small Claims court. You'll get arbitration.

My roommate and I had to do this once. It's not fun, is time consuming, and is an overall pain in the ass but it's possible.
posted by Stynxno at 10:28 AM on November 15, 2007


Verbal agreements suck.
posted by k8t at 10:29 AM on November 15, 2007


Is there any reason you wouldn't get your entire deposit back? Because in theory if you kick her out, even if she had paid you the deposit, you would have to give it back less any damage/cleaning.
posted by whoaali at 10:31 AM on November 15, 2007


Response by poster: There was no misunderstanding. We were being polite and friendly to her, but now we are done with that and just want her to leave. We are in Los Angeles, and she has kept up paying rent. It's the deposit she hasn't payed.
posted by Charlie Lesoine at 10:32 AM on November 15, 2007


Response by poster: @whoaali:

There is a little damage to the place caused by our roommate, but we don't want her to pay us. We want her to leave because she has already violated the verbal agreement. Additionally she has emotional problems involving screaming and crying in the next room. ALL THE TIME.
posted by Charlie Lesoine at 10:38 AM on November 15, 2007


IANAL, etc. Does the lease have any language in it regarding the resolution of disputes? Although it may be assumed that such language would apply to your dealings with the owner/landlord, if she is a signatory to the lease she would/should also be bound by the same language.
posted by mosk at 10:44 AM on November 15, 2007


If she's on the lease it would be up to the landlord to kick her out, not you. It would be like you trying to fire someone when you are not their boss. Problem you're going to have is the landlord has received the deposit so is probably not going to care one iota about your in-fighting about *how* it was paid, fair distribution among all roommates, etc.

If you want your money, you'll have to go the small claims route, unless you're willing to pony up the money to break your lease altogether just to be done with her.
posted by The Gooch at 10:46 AM on November 15, 2007


Okay, first of all drop this idea that you're going to get her to leave. She has the right to stay until April. Deal with it. What she doesn't have the right to do is not pay her share of the deposit. If she won't do it, take her to small claims court. And learn a lesson from this: get agreements in writing, and don't let anyone move in with you or to your place until they've put down a deposit.
posted by Dasein at 10:49 AM on November 15, 2007 [2 favorites]


Charlie, trying to evict somebody because you don't like them is what the mafia does. Man up and talk to her. Work out a suitable living arrangement. Don't be afraid to demand your money, and explain kindly but forcefully that you value the "friendship" and don't want to bring this to small-claims court.

And next time vet out prospective roommates beforehand, keeping it all on paper. Just learn the lesson and try to live with the consequences. Don't go acting like a goon about this.
posted by koeselitz at 10:55 AM on November 15, 2007


Also, if you want to know if she's serious about moving out, ask her. If she says, "of course," say, "well, I just want to be sure, because I've mistaken your intentions before. I'll go ahead and put an ad in the paper saying the room is for rent, then."
posted by koeselitz at 10:58 AM on November 15, 2007 [1 favorite]


I think legally getting her out would be long and painful and difficult to do under the circumstances, however I don't know the laws of your state so take that with a grain of salt.

What I would do if I was in your situation is tell her that you'll forgive the deposit that she owes you if she is out by such and such a date and do everything in your power to make it optimal for her to leave. Things like maybe helping her move, not making her clean or find a replacement, etc etc. I'm not saying that's fair or you have some obligation to do these things, you don't, but as far as getting her out this will probably be the most likely to work and the easiest in the long run.

Also, I feel like you could run into issues in small claims courts by trying to get the deposit from her, unless there is something in your lease that specifies what portion each of you would pay upon moving in, I'm guessing you will have a hard time getting anything until after you move out and get your deposit back. Then you can sue her for whatever is deducted do to the damage, but you don't seem to concerned about that so I don't see how that helps you. The thing is while she may have orally told you she was going to pay you, unless you can get her to admit to that in court its just a he said/she said and since you'll likely get all the money back once you move (or close to) the court isn't going to want to deal with the issue until then (most likely). I've never heard of any law that says that each person on the lease has to pay a certain portion of the deposit and it isn't unheard of for one roommate to pay the whole deposit because the other can't afford it.

The other problem is if the court made her pay you her portion, in five months the landlord might give you the entire deposit back because you paid it at which point you could be back in court all over again, this time with her suing you to get back the money she just gave you. I realize you are losing interest, but besides that you don't have a lot of actual damages at this point.
posted by whoaali at 11:02 AM on November 15, 2007


On preview:

Charlie Lesoine: Additionally she has emotional problems involving screaming and crying in the next room. ALL THE TIME.

That's awful. Have you asked her what's wrong? Again, don't be afraid to talk with her about this. Express concern by telling her that it makes you worry about her. She probably doesn't enjoy screaming and crying.

It's tough to have to live with people who're going through things like that, and I'd want to get out of that situation in a hurry, too (I probably wouldn't want to stay like you do, incidentally) but the more I read this question, the more I feel like it's a failure of communication rather than anything else. Going online and asking some strangers if there's some way to manage to evict an emotionally unstable roommate isn't the best way of going about this.
posted by koeselitz at 11:03 AM on November 15, 2007


Maybe she's crying in her room because her roommates hate her and are trying to bully her into leaving. It doesn't look like you have a lot of rights here, unless she signed something somewhere saying that she is responsible for part of the lease.
posted by croutonsupafreak at 11:04 AM on November 15, 2007 [1 favorite]


Response by poster: We have talked to her. She is not a reasonable person. She is unwilling to concede to anything, unwilling to admit that what she is doing is even unfair, and she will commit to no concrete date when she'll be ready. I feel that it IS unfair that she won't pay me, and she won't even give me an estimate of when she will leave so that I can prepare a new roommate.

We have spoken to her many times over the past 7 months and it's always a different excuse. We have directly confronted her five times, at which point she fails to make a logical argument for her behavior and stalks off from the room.

We have asked her to pay us the thousand dollars or leave, she refuses to do either. If you have ever known an entitled, spoiled, loud brat, you will realize the headache it has been living with her. We really just want her to leave, is there any way we can pressure her to do so? I don't even care about the money at this point.
posted by Charlie Lesoine at 11:06 AM on November 15, 2007


How old is she? You mention that she's a 'spoiled brat' which implies that someone is spoiling her.

Do her parents call often? Do you have their number? Consider talking with them to see if they have any tips on how to get your money from their daughter. Don't demand that they pay, as of course they're not liable for the money, but if you can win them over and get them to agree to your side of the story, then maybe you'll have an ally that speaks her language. And who knows, they may pony up over embarrassment for their daughter's behavior!
posted by robocop is bleeding at 11:18 AM on November 15, 2007


We have asked her to pay us the thousand dollars or leave

As you are not her landlord, you have absolutely no right to ask her to do this. Her owing you money is an entirely separate, unrelated issue from her right to live in an apartment IN WHICH HER NAME IS ON THE LEASE

Like I mentioned earlier, this is no different than you threatening to fire a co-worker who owes you money even though you are not his/her immediate supervisor and hold no authority to hire or fire within the corporation


We really just want her to leave, is there any way we can pressure her to do so?

You can ask her, but it appears you've already tried that unsuccessfully. Legally, I don't think you have any ground to stand on.
posted by The Gooch at 11:21 AM on November 15, 2007 [3 favorites]


She is unwilling to concede to anything, unwilling to admit that what she is doing is even unfair, and she will commit to no concrete date when she'll be ready.

Here's where you are being unreasonable. Her agreement is with the landlord, not with you. She's not subletting the room from you. It may have been a mistake not to just rent all the rooms and then have a separate sublet agreement (not sure if that would work in your jurisdiction). But that's irrelevant.

You can't bully her into committing to a time to leave. She is clearly emotionally unstable, and you're not helping her by haranguing her on a regular basis to move out. It's her right to stay if she wants. If you don't like it, you should make plans to move out yourself.

Drop the move-out stuff. Make it clear that you don't expect her to move out, but you do expect her to pay her part of the deposit. It also wouldn't help to have some sympathy for her, rather than just ganging up on her. I accept that she may be unreasonable, but she probably feels isolated and under attack from you two. And if she doesn't respond better to you guys being nicer, then you can always take her to court.
posted by Dasein at 11:37 AM on November 15, 2007 [2 favorites]


IANAL or landlord, but I see no grounds for "making" her pay the verbal part of the deposit agreement or evicting her. Sure, small claims court/tv court could work, but isn't your time more valuable than that? If it isn't, evaluate your situation.

She is on the lease, pays her rent, and (despite inconveniencing you and the GF,) has every right to live there. It sounds as if she is going through a difficult time and that she is aware of the ire that you and your SO feel toward her.

Also, how is the rent split? Do you and your girlfriend pay half combined with the roommate covering the rest or is it divided into thirds?
posted by bonobo at 11:41 AM on November 15, 2007


You may have to be the ones to leave, if you really want out. Sometimes sanity is worth giving up the pleasure of winning.
posted by Salamandrous at 11:46 AM on November 15, 2007


Response by poster: @bonobo

Our roommate pays 40% and my girlfriend and I pay 60%. It seems like I should be allowed to give her some sort of a 3-day notice to pay the deposit or move out and be pro-rated for the rent she's already payed for Nov.
posted by Charlie Lesoine at 11:46 AM on November 15, 2007


Confront, with a written contract in your pocket that codifies the prior deposit details in the agreement, play the argument game for a while, whip out the paper, "settle" for her signing it.

Sue her in small claims the next day.
posted by Freedomboy at 11:47 AM on November 15, 2007


It seems like I should be allowed to give her some sort of a 3-day notice to pay the deposit or move out

You seem to either not be understanding or choosing to ignore the fact you are NOT this woman's landlord and therefore have no authority whatsoever to give her any sort of notice to leave the apartment.

She owes you money. There are avenues to take care of that (small claims court).

You don't like living with her. There are avenues to take care of that (break your lease and move out).

What you seem to be failing to comprehend is that evicting her from the apartment is not one of your options.
posted by The Gooch at 11:53 AM on November 15, 2007 [9 favorites]


You're not listening. There's no known basis among these commenters for any "3-day notice." You're just making that up. It's becoming unclear who's being unreasonable. And it's "paid" not "payed."
posted by JimN2TAW at 11:55 AM on November 15, 2007


Charlie Lesoine: If you have ever known an entitled, spoiled, loud brat, you will realize the headache it has been living with her.

I have-- and more. A few years ago, I had a roommate who was a violent alcoholic. It was a tremendous hassle. Unfortunately, there's no way to evict people just because they're being a hassle. In fact, unless you're the landlord, there's no way to evict at all, and even if you were the landlord, knowing California's tenant-friendly laws, you'd have to send a couple notices before doing so, anyway.

I know you're at the end of your rope here-- that's how it feels, and I know the feeling. I'm sure that the fact that your girlfriend has to put up with this is making you a little impatient with the situation, too. The first thing you need to do is calm down and start to think about how you're going to work this out in the best way for all involved. Give up the instinct to kick her out on the curb just to be rid of the trouble and start working out how you're really going to deal with this problem.

Now, she still owes you. You have some leverage. I have some suggestions on how I'd use it:

First, I'd go to her with an ultimatum. Tell her you're fed up, and that you want the situation resolved. Hand her a written agreement with two options: either pay up within the next month and stay on, or move out within the next month and not have to pay. Tell her that if she chooses to pay but doesn't, you'll take her to small claims court; get the paperwork from here, print it, and show it to her if she doubts you're serious. Tell her, on the other hand, that if she chooses to move out, you're putting an ad in the paper saying the place is open today and calling the landlord to finalize the agreement. Have her choose one of the options and sign the agreement. All you have to do is follow through on it.

The tough part for you is that she has a way to stay. Unfortunately, there's nothing you can do legally to change that. You can only force her out by demanding the money, and I can't tell from your question whether a thousand dollars is something she can easily afford or not.

Good luck. I know you're going through something tough. Really, though, keep in mind that you can't evict people for personal reasons, even if you are a landlord. It's generally illegal.
posted by koeselitz at 11:58 AM on November 15, 2007


Confront, with a written contract in your pocket that codifies the prior deposit details in the agreement, play the argument game for a while, whip out the paper, "settle" for her signing it... Sue her in small claims the next day.

You have the moral high ground, don't lose it by playing silly games. I doubt the judge will like that.

Not that you're listening to any of the advice here, anyway.
posted by grouse at 12:00 PM on November 15, 2007


Yeah I hate to ever say things in absolute terms when it comes to the law, but I'm pretty damn sure there is no way you can demand the deposit and give her 3 days notice, none. Even if you were subletting you'd almost certainly have to give at least 30. Landlord tenant relations are heavily regulated and in most states its not a fun process to evict someone, and you are not her landlord. You've entered into a contract with someone you don't like, you know the penalties for getting out of that contract, but you can get out. What you can't do is rewrite the terms after the fact. You can talk to your landlord about shortening the lease, but without her permission that'll be hard. If people could evict their roommates on three days notice every time they didn't like one another, we'd have a lot of people out on the streets.

I highly doubt anyone other than your landlord can evict her. If she isn't behind on her rent and you can't prove that she agreed to pay for her portion of the deposit, you have nothing but possibly a very small claim in small claims court for whatever portion of your deposit you don't get back and likely only even a third of that. And remember a deposit is not rent, you get it back.
posted by whoaali at 12:03 PM on November 15, 2007


Charlie Lesoine: Our roommate pays 40% and my girlfriend and I pay 60%. It seems like I should be allowed to give her some sort of a 3-day notice to pay the deposit or move out and be pro-rated for the rent she's already payed for Nov.

No, Charlie, it doesn't. Do you understand what you're saying? What would you feel like if your landlord was allowed to evict you if you were three days late with your rent? Even if you're always on time, a hell of a lot of people would be on the street if landlords could do that. (And, again, you're not the landlord.)

You need to understand that evicting your roommates is illegal for a reason. Evicting someone can be a tremendously hurtful thing to do to them. I know that you and your girlfriend have gotten over your scruples enough to consider doing such a thing, but that doesn't make it right. Again, be a man about it and find the right way to make this good.
posted by koeselitz at 12:03 PM on November 15, 2007 [1 favorite]


In other words, my advice: move out.
posted by koeselitz at 12:05 PM on November 15, 2007


You can't legally kick her out or make her pay but you can make it as unpleasant for her as she's making it for you.

My suggestion would be lots of loud kinky sex (you don't actually have to be doing it - just make it sound like you are).
Walk around naked.
If there's any music you know she hates then play it really loudly when she's in the house.
Monopolise the communal areas and generally treat the house as your own - ignoring her presence.

You could always eat the $1k - literally, eat $1k worth of food that she buys for herself. - of course she could retaliate and eat your food too so that could backfire.

If she's crying and screaming loud enough to disturb you then most likely she wants attention. She clearly has no consideration for others.
posted by missmagenta at 12:06 PM on November 15, 2007


missmagenta: You can't legally kick her out or make her pay but you can make it as unpleasant for her as she's making it for you.

Didn't think I'd have to say this, but this is a very, very bad idea. Unless you enjoy making things unpleasant more than her, and are confident of that fact.
posted by koeselitz at 12:09 PM on November 15, 2007 [1 favorite]


Response by poster: Ok. So there is no legal way to resolve a verbal agreement without taking the person to small claims court. I'm not trying to "evict" her.
posted by Charlie Lesoine at 12:12 PM on November 15, 2007


You could always eat the $1k - literally, eat $1k worth of food that she buys for herself. - of course she could retaliate and eat your food too so that could backfire.

It'd also be theft so it could backfire in a much bigger way.
posted by grouse at 12:15 PM on November 15, 2007


Didn't think I'd have to say this, but this is a very, very bad idea. Unless you enjoy making things unpleasant more than her, and are confident of that fact.

It is true, you could come up against someone even more stubborn than yourself but you really have no legal grounds to do anything. Your only chance to get her to move out is to be an even worse room-mate than she is - you cannot legally force her to leave, you can legally be a pain in the arse.

Of course, the simplest solution is to move out, but I get the feeling that you're unlikely to do that. Its likely the lease assigns the rent responsibility to you all jointly - which means if you run out on your lease - she's stuck with paying 100% of the rent until she can find new tenants.
posted by missmagenta at 12:17 PM on November 15, 2007


...oh, sorry. My mistake. You're not trying to "evict" her; you're trying to "legally force her to quit the premises." I keep forgetting.

You should know two things: (1) generally, though I don't know CA law, small claims court is the easiest way to resolve a dispute like this. It's not that hard; it means gathering some paperwork, filling out some forms, paying a fee, and showing up. Enforcing them can be tougher, but they're usually enough in and of themselves to scare somebody into complying. That's their greatest value. (2) Small claims court generally isn't for "enforcing verbal agreements;" it's for getting money back that's owed you. Even if you can use it to enforce agreements in California, I doubt you'll be able to do so in this instance, as the "verbal agreement" is fuzzy and difficult for anyone to attest to. That's why I recommended using it to leverage the situation.
posted by koeselitz at 12:24 PM on November 15, 2007


As missmagenta said - if you're both on the lease, you moving out with no notice and leaving her to deal with the financial fallout is probably the easiest way to screw her over.
posted by gnutron at 12:39 PM on November 15, 2007


Seriously, use koeselitz's suggestion above. Don't be spiteful.
posted by triggerfinger at 12:49 PM on November 15, 2007


Aaaand I've messed up my link.

If you have come here to find suggestions for revenge, you'll find that you've come to the wrong place. This site has a rule against revengefilter.
posted by triggerfinger at 12:57 PM on November 15, 2007


And learn a lesson from this: get agreements in writing...

Judge Judy and others give the same advice. Heed it in the future.
posted by ericb at 1:00 PM on November 15, 2007


Response by poster: @ koeselitz

I appreciate your comment at 11:58 and I will try take your advice. I was just joking about being devious. Honestly you can't really judge my moral vindication here, seeing as you're drawing your conclusions based on 15 lines of text. I've lived with this girl and deferred her repayment for 7 months while she became financially stable. She has lied, made excuses, and then completely turned away from logic when confronted the first few times about this. Since then the relationship has soured. I remain polite with her, I have never yelled, never called her names. I simply present the facts of what she's done and ask for some compromise and she gets utterly emotional and starts acting like a child. If it weren't for an utter disrespect for my girlfriend and myself, in the way cleanliness habits, breaking things and not replacing them, and generally being an unaware person who ignores the problems they create, I'd have more sympathy for her. This is a case of people who are from two different worlds not being compatible, and my girlfriend, has diplomatically approached her about this several times, she says she'll move out or pay or whatever, and then does nothing. Honestly I don't care about legally evicting her if there is any way I can convince/entice her to leave I'd love to hear about it. As always I have listened to all your comments and appreciate them.
posted by Charlie Lesoine at 1:00 PM on November 15, 2007


She's not going to leave. You have no legal way to make her leave. You are not her landlord. If she is in violation of her lease or the house rules that may be an addendum to the lease, by all means report it to your landlord to get it on record. You seem to not be looking for actual answers here. You have many answers here telling you how to get your money legally (small claims court).

Also - PAID.
posted by chiababe at 1:10 PM on November 15, 2007


Really, you should have gone after her much sooner for the money. When you were having to pay the deposit originally, you shouldn't have covered her portion, but made it so that either she paid her share or you would not get the place.
Also, you need to talk to your actual landlord about this. They may be able to apply some pressure on your behalf.
Or, you may need to call her parents.
Barring success of any of these measures, you'll probably have to threaten small claims court and not be bluffing.

Also, please read these other comments and take note: it's paid, not "payed."
posted by fructose at 1:11 PM on November 15, 2007


For reference, this is the quote I was referring to:

First, I'd go to her with an ultimatum. Tell her you're fed up, and that you want the situation resolved. Hand her a written agreement with two options: either pay up within the next month and stay on, or move out within the next month and not have to pay. Tell her that if she chooses to pay but doesn't, you'll take her to small claims court; get the paperwork from here, print it, and show it to her if she doubts you're serious. Tell her, on the other hand, that if she chooses to move out, you're putting an ad in the paper saying the place is open today and calling the landlord to finalize the agreement. Have her choose one of the options and sign the agreement. All you have to do is follow through on it.

It may very well be that she will not leave. In this case, is it possible to just ignore her and go your separate ways? You only have 5 months left, don't you? You can live with someone and spend very little time at all interacting with them at all.
posted by triggerfinger at 1:20 PM on November 15, 2007


Seriously, you fucked up when you didn't get an agreement regarding deposit repayment in writing. You can probably kiss that goodbye unless small claims is feeling generous. Suck it up, you picked a bad roommate, and are stuck with her until the end of the lease term. You can your g/f can go about your business, ignore her wacky behavior if you believe the relationship is severed and that is what you need to do.

There are many Mefites who have lived in far worse roommate conditions, at least she hasn't shat in your bed...yet.
posted by Asherah at 1:27 PM on November 15, 2007


Small claims court is the best bet for getting the money back if she does not pay up upon moving out - FACT.

Charlie & girlfriend should have had something in writing before moving in - FACT.

Charlie & girlfriend should have shown more scrutiny in selecting a roommate prior to moving in - FACT.

Moving out is the most painless way to deal with the matter - FACT.

This being said, I would also like to provide some firsthand experience with this particular person as i have known her for nearly 2 years.

She is in the habit of putting on a very friendly facade & manipulating people into doing things for her but when things do not go her way or someone refuses to be manipulated, she throws a tantrum & the evil face comes out. The FIRST time i saw this i discontinued our friendship but have remained friendly by association.

Unfortunately, this is more of a social rather than legal issue Charlie is dealing with here. One that cannot be determined by law or rules. This girl revels in every opportunity to cause an unstable atmosphere (i.e. drama) & finds it either a.harmless or b.entertaining. When dealing with someone who has this type of attitude, confrontations polite or otherwise are met with no resolution as can be seen from the last (5?) times that Charlie & his girlfriend have spoken on this issue with her.

I believe the bottom line here is determining how the hardship of living with this person for possibly the next 4 1/2 months until the lease is up weighs against uprooting from a nice apartment near work & all that comes with that.

That being said, i would like to add that a big part of the reason this person has gotten you in this situation is a failure to be outspoken & stern from the beginning in securing the funds that were owed for the deposit (a written agreement would have helped with that). So, if you plan on sticking it out until she leaves or the lease is up, get some backbone & give her some of her own medicine.

over & out.
posted by L1F3 at 1:46 PM on November 15, 2007 [1 favorite]


As missmagenta said - if you're both on the lease, you moving out with no notice and leaving her to deal with the financial fallout is probably the easiest way to screw her over.

If they're on the lease, they'll also be dealing with the financial fallout. They won't get evicted, but they'll still be liable for the rent they owe, and their credit rating will take a hit if payments are missed and evictions happen. This is really just a shitty idea.

A friend of mine was recently in a similar situation with a verbal contract about getting deposit for her apartment from someone (who in this case moved into her apartment after her). First, she sent a letter via certified mail to the person taking over the lease stating that if the deposit wasn't paid per their agreement by a certain date, she'd take him to small claims court. It might seem silly to do that for someone you live with, but if you do that you'll then have a record of you sending it and her getting it. Merely threatening to do this may have quite an effect if you mention all the fallout that will happen:
- After the case is filed, a summons will be delivered by a sheriff or some other law enforcement officer (bailiff, marshal, etc.), which may be mortifying enough on its own.
- My friend won a judgement for the amount of the deposit plus court fees, which amounted something like $80, so your roommate will only be making it worse by not paying.
- Having a judgment against her will not look good on her credit rating.
- If she refuses to pay the settlement, her wages will be garnished.

So, threaten to take her to small claims if she doesn't either pay up or move out, and make that option clear in the letter.

Otherwise, as others have said, unless you can find some way in which she's violating the lease and report to the landlord who may then decide to evict her. You cannot kick her out yourself.
posted by LionIndex at 1:46 PM on November 15, 2007


It seems like I should be allowed to give her some sort of a 3-day notice to pay the deposit or move out and be pro-rated for the rent she's already payed for Nov.

What? Dude, you have no legal grounds whatsoever here. You fucked yourself by letting someone move into the apartment without paying part of the deposit or getting the agreement in writing.
posted by meerkatty at 1:49 PM on November 15, 2007


Agreed; when moving in with someone for the first time even if you've known them for years, it is essential to get things in writing. Even honest people can forget things. So, this will be an expensive but important lesson learned.
posted by L1F3 at 1:55 PM on November 15, 2007


Response by poster: It seems the question has now changed to how can I convince an incredibly stubborn and illogical person to leave. I DONT WANT HER MONEY. And she isn't refusing to pay outright. I want her to bow out with some grace, to realize that her behavior is shameful and that she should be embarrassed for the way that she acts. Screaming at the middle of the night with her boyfriend who is there often most of the week. And other interpersonal relationship issues with other people that I don't want to go into. How can you win a logical argument with this type of person? We asked her if she can really say that the way she is acting is fair and she say "no comment" and goes back in her room. wtf. we would rather not have her pay us and just leave, because we don't like her. How do you convince someone that they don't want to live with two people who HATE them? Paid.
posted by Charlie Lesoine at 2:14 PM on November 15, 2007


How do you convince someone that they don't want to live with two people who HATE them?

You don't. *YOU* break your lease and move out.
posted by The Gooch at 2:18 PM on November 15, 2007


So, your question is "how can I shame someone who has absolutely no shame?" Good luck with that, pardner.
posted by LionIndex at 2:25 PM on November 15, 2007


See, now you're being honest. You don't want the money- the thing you may have some legal ability to pursue. You just want to use the money as leverage to make her move out. More accurately, you're trying to use that unpaid deposit as a way to threaten her into leaving.

Sorry, it doesn't work that way. Either find a way to deal with her, or break your lease and pay whatever penalty that involves.

You started out looking like the good guy in this, but now it's clear you made your bed but refuse to deal with the reality that you will have to lie in it.
posted by fructose at 2:29 PM on November 15, 2007


If she's screaming in the middle of the night, call the cops & report it to your landlord the next day. There are local statutes on noise almost anywhere you go. She is also interfering with your quiet enjoyment of the premises. Surely there's a clause is your lease regarding noise violations.
posted by chiababe at 2:31 PM on November 15, 2007


Bit of a mess in here, but if I take Charlie and L1F3 at their word, it sounds like the unwanted roommate might have a Borderline Personality Disorder. In which case there is no reasoning, no convincing, and the creation of conflict is the (unstated and mostly unconscious) goal of this roommate's entire existence.

Previous AskMes about dealing with a possible BPD case here.

If this sounds like it's accurate, then one of the main strains of advice herein - cut your losses and find another apartment - is probably the easiest and least destructive way out. Believe me, you can lose a lifetime's worth of your patience, sanity and goodwill to someone with BPD even if they're someone you only have to deal with a couple times a year. Life's too short. Just bail.
posted by gompa at 2:32 PM on November 15, 2007 [1 favorite]


Charlie Lesoine: It seems the question has now changed to how can I convince an incredibly stubborn and illogical person to leave."

We're getting somewhere now. Thanks for sticking with us, Charlie. Thing is, I agree-- it's gonna be really hard to convince her. I really think the best thing to do is go to the landlord and lay it out. If he/she knew what's going on at the apartment, I have a feeling they'd feel some incentive to change the situation, too. I'm sure they'd have some ideas about letting someone break the lease.

Again, I'd be the one to leave, but I get the feeling that's not something you want to do right now.
posted by koeselitz at 2:39 PM on November 15, 2007


fructose,

Charlie IS a nice guy, one of the nicest i know & being naive about people & nice what got him into this mess. As far as refusing to sleep in it, perhaps. But when the pricetag of cutting losses is in the thousands of dollars, one would tend to look for alternatives no?

chiababe,

i believe there are police reports on file. Charlie should look in to presenting those to the landlord who is the person LEGALLY responsible for evictions.

gompa,

i believe you are correct in your diagnosis except, i do not believe her condition to be borderline but a full-blown personality disorder.
posted by L1F3 at 2:44 PM on November 15, 2007


Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) is a kind of personality disorder, similar in many regards to Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD).

IANAMental Health Professional, YMMV, etc., but if this stuff fits the bill, it's probably beyond the scope of an enraged roommate's ability to even begin to address.

So again: Bail.
posted by gompa at 2:50 PM on November 15, 2007


While I agree with all those saying moving out is the best solution, in keeping with the answer-the-question-asked guideline,

1. Only keep rotten food in the fridge. Milk left outside till it gets chunky-rotten, fuzzy molds and the whatnot.
2. Make lots of smelly friends and have them over for a living room sweat-lodging.
3. Make something tasty, and offer it to her with loud assurances that it "definetly isn't poisoned or anything" ala Heinlein's best-lie-is-the-truth-told-unconvincingly method. Repeat daily.
4. Every morning, instead of saying good morning, say "well, I guess there really isn't a god if kids in china are starving, but you're still alive. what a pity"
posted by nomisxid at 2:52 PM on November 15, 2007


Put another way: I'd gladly max out every credit card I own and take out a second mortgage and chip away at that debt the rest of my life if it meant I could erase my memory and my family's history from every moment we ever spent in the company of my ex-sister-in-law.
posted by gompa at 2:53 PM on November 15, 2007


Response by poster: The thing is, she doesn't even get the concept.

She's like "I'll give you a check and then you'll give it back in five months so whats the point it's just a phantom check"

it's like...noooo I'm going to cash that check and spend the money. And then the next roommate will pay you the deposit or the landlord will when you move out minus the damages...
posted by Charlie Lesoine at 2:58 PM on November 15, 2007


I believe you are missing the point.

a.This girl thrives on being an emotional wreck.

b.Even if she does not have the $, she has a boyfriend who spends most of his time at the apartment who she could & SHOULD move in with.

c.Charlie moving out would mean the loss of thousands of dollars.
posted by L1F3 at 3:46 PM on November 15, 2007


Best answer: Charlie, what I should've suggested in my last post was that you're going about it all wrong. I imagine your situation is miserable, but adding more and more hate to the situation is counter-productive and potentially dangerous.

I say go the other way with it. You and your girlfriend need to take a deep breath and chill out. Back off and let her breathe too. Be civil with her, and give her some peace and space to recalibrate. Admit to her you've been hostile and irrational (because it definitely sounds like you have) and problem-solve her getting a new apartment together. If she's not gone buy Christmas, don't scream at her, buy her a fruit basket. Make her want to comply with your wishes Charlie.

Because, like I said upthread, the other way is borderline psychotic and completely ineffective.
posted by JaySunSee at 4:24 PM on November 15, 2007 [1 favorite]


I want her to bow out with some grace, to realize that her behavior is shameful and that she should be embarrassed for the way that she acts.

In other words, you want her to have a complete change of personality for your convenience.

Deal in the realm of reality. She's not going to change for you. She may discontinue certain behavior if you approach things civilly and explain exactly why it's a problem and how it's contributing to her negative experience. But you've got to accept that you have contributed to the negative atmosphere in your dwelling, undoubtedly, if only through your obvious attitude. You may be miserable, but bring more negativity into the situation is only going to make it worse for all of you.
posted by Dreama at 4:53 PM on November 15, 2007


L1F3-
It doesn't matter how nice you think Charlie is. It really doesn't. At all. Neither of you are being remotely realistic.

He's going to have to step up and do something other than trying to convince her to move. If she's as crazy as you two claim, good luck getting her to move. Probably not happening.

Not all situations have a way out where nobody suffers a negative consequence. Such is the real world. Trying to bully a mentally unstable person to "bow out with some grace," is a really, really, really stupid idea, and I hope he gets that out of his head ASAP.
posted by fructose at 5:24 PM on November 15, 2007


Sure, you are right. It does not matter how nice i think Charlie is. However, I am being realistic.

Small claims court or landlord eviction are the best routes & if those are not options or are unsuccessful Charlie needs to to weigh between :

a.sticking it out until lease is up or she moves out

b.eating a large amount of money by moving out but having peace of mind.
posted by L1F3 at 5:35 PM on November 15, 2007


Well there's also

c. Paying her to leave. Landlords do this all the time.

(A California "3 day notice" is pretty much just a symbolic first step in what is actually an expensive and stressful 4-6 month process before a recalcitrant tenant is actually made to leave. In areas where the courts and sheriff are tied up with criminal issues, this can go much longer. Meanwhile the landlord is getting no rent and worrying about whether the pissed off tenant is now trashing the place. Thus the popularity of paying one's deadbeats to immediately -- like, today -- go find someone else to drive crazy.)

You two leaving (opt b) is the best option for getting fast closure and maintain control over how this resolves. You're overestimating the cost of breaking a lease. People do it all the time, at little or no cost. You just have to find someone to replace you. A local tenants right agency or a Nolo book can give you more info.
posted by nakedcodemonkey at 7:56 PM on November 15, 2007


Yeah I mean I've already said this essentially, but your best bet it to bribe/pay her to leave. Offer to pay for movers, forgive the deposit, forgive any damage, don't make her find a replacement, help her find a new place, freaking hold her hand through the whole thing. Even help her pack all her things up. Maybe even come up with a bullshit excuse why she needs to go (oh our best friend is moving to town and we promised him your room because you were moving), I can't come up with anything that good, but creating some sort of delusion where you aren't really kicking her out but she's moving out for some other reason might help too.
posted by whoaali at 8:47 PM on November 15, 2007


Response by poster: Yeah maybe If I bribe her she'll move out. That actually not a bad idea.
posted by Charlie Lesoine at 9:18 PM on November 15, 2007 [2 favorites]


Yeah maybe If I bribe her she'll move out.

Just make sure you get the order of operations right: she leaves, THEN she gets her payoff. Promises earn her lots of kind words of encouragement and offers to help with the packing, but not a penny of cashola until every last thing is out and the landlord confirms she's handed back the keys.
posted by nakedcodemonkey at 10:08 PM on November 15, 2007


How do you convince someone that they don't want to live with two people who HATE them?

Wow. That statement scares me.

n-thing Move Out.

Do only what you are legally obliged to do, and do NOT confuse the situation by "helping" her. Or bribing her. Just go and lick your wounds elsewhere.

We've all had insane room-mates, but saying that you want to emotionally bash them with your hate until they are forced to agree with the way you think and do what you want makes you sound just as manipulative as them.
posted by gerls at 11:24 PM on November 15, 2007


as you've only got 4-5 months left on your lease, can't you stick it out, calling the cops if the noise is too much, and then take all the deposit that's given back to you by the landlord?
posted by altolinguistic at 5:32 AM on November 16, 2007


Bribing her is a great idea but make sure to work with the landlord to get her name off of the lease if you can. And get it in writing that she's moving out voluntarily. Then pay her.
posted by sondrialiac at 8:46 AM on November 16, 2007


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