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How to Tell a Roommate it's Over

By Edited Apr 25, 2015 0 0

People often rent an apartment with a roommate for a variety of reasons: it could either be that they feel safer knowing that there is always someone with them, or that they cannot pay the rent by themselves. Sometimes, renters even choose to rent a unit with their best friend, assuming that it will be a fun experience.

On the other hand, your relationship with your roommate can quickly go sour once the small quirks start happening often, such as refusing to do their assigned chores, being noisy in the middle of the night and not making the rent on time. If you’ve reached the end of your rope and you really want your roommate gone, there are ways that you can tell them the bad news without too much trouble.

a.    Put together a plan of action. You can’t simply go up to your roommate and hand them an empty suitcase. You need to give them an idea of how things will be done: who will be the one to leave and when they should, what you will do with the things that you bought by pooling your money, and how you will find a new roommate. On a side note regarding your lease, unless your name is the only one on the apartment lease, you have no right to kick out your roommate. If either you or your roommate leaves and both your names are on the lease, the landlord can file a lawsuit for lease violation.

b.    Make time to have “the talk” with them. It’s not a good idea to just announce your intent to kick someone out as soon as they get back to the apartment. It’s important that you are both ready and calm when you talk about it, so it would be better to schedule a time and place. There is a bigger chance that tempers will flare if the issue is handled while you are feeling tired or angry.

c.    A memo is not a great way to deliver the news. Treat a break-up with a roommate the way you would a break up in a relationship: don’t do it by leaving a short note or calling on the phone. A roommate can easily assume that you just had a bad day at the office and you brought the negativity home, so you have to be there to explain why things can’t work out between the two of you. Still, if your roommate has a tendency to hit the roof during this kind of situation, you might be better off penning a letter. You have to be careful with what you write, though; they can easily throw things back to you if they feel like it.

d.    Be honest (unless a white lie can avoid a sticky situation). Tell your roommate why they need to go, and be honest about it. If your reason for having a roommate in the first place is to have someone to come up with half the rent, emphasize that you don’t make enough at your job to pay the entire rent whenever they’re late. There are times, though, when a white lie like saying that you need to move to a place that is closer to your place of work will suffice, such as in cases where the reason for the break-up is the other person’s personal hygiene.

If you were friends before you were roommates, you should try to keep your friendship even if your roommate relationship has ended. If a bad split cannot be avoided, then it should be a reminder to you that you should never live with a close pal in the future.

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