General Question

HelpMeFluth's avatar

Renting MY rooms out. Can I evict?

Asked by HelpMeFluth (24points) October 11th, 2010


I am currently re-renting two rooms in a house I rent in order to save me some money. I currently live in, lease, and occupy this dwelling. My rental company does not know about the other tenants and they signed a simple lease through ME and me alone. If I need to evict these tenants do special rules apply since I currently live in the dwelling too? Do I have to give 30 days notice or can I tell them to get out at any time, for any reason, else they be trespassers? The tenants have no copy of the lease either, besides mail coming to the house in their name.


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15 Answers

jrpowell's avatar

You can’t tell them to just get out. You have to give them 30 days notice. Trust me, I tried. The cops got involved and it made for a very uncomfortable 30 days. If they can provide mail postdated for over a few weeks you are screwed if you want them out.

You are most likely in violation of your lease/rental agreement. I have also been in this situation where the landlord found out I was renting rooms out without notifying them. I was evicted when they found out. Read your lease.

lillycoyote's avatar

Yes, you can evict, I think the only way to get them out is to evict, to legally evict them, you can’t just throw them out. You need to be careful and do this properly if you want them out and not get in any more trouble than you might already be in. The fact that your landlord doesn’t know about them isn’t their problem, it’s kind of your problem, if it violates your lease. If they are paying rent, you can’t just kick them out. They’re not trespassers, they’re tenants. You should check your lease and look into the laws governing landlord/tenant agreements where you live.

HelpMeFluth's avatar

I don’t care if my landlord finds out, that is not the problem. How long does the eviction process take usually? Also since my lease does not allow subletting will the judge throw out my case?

Also do I have to have a valid reason to remove a subtennat? What if I just did not want them there anymore? It is my unit and I can do as I please with it.

lillycoyote's avatar

I’m not a lawyer, and these are legal questions I’m not qualified to answer. The bottom line is that both you and your tenants are bound by the laws of your state and possibly any local or municipal ordinances and statutes and by the terms of the written agreement, the “simple lease” that you all signed. That lease is a contract. I don’t think you need cause, but I think that depends on the lease you have with them and local laws. I don’t think you can just sign a lease, for say a year, and kick them out just because you’ve changed your mind. That seems like it would be a breech of contract, but like I said, I’m not a lawyer, I don’t know. Landlords have rights and responsibilities; tenants have rights and responsibilities. Once you enter into that kind of a contractual agreement, governed by the lease and the laws where you live, then you cannot simply “do as you please.” At that point you can only do what the law says you can do and allows you to do, unless you want to end up in court, I think. Here’s another link that might be helpful.

theichibun's avatar

You’re renting it to someone else, so it’s not just your unit anymore. It’s their home too, whether you like that or not.

In all actuality, if your lease says you can’t sublease space then you can get kicked out along with everyone else.

john65pennington's avatar

From your question, you have been renting out rooms illegaly. you really do not have the authority to “kick anyone out”. as far as your landlord knows, you are the only one living in the apartment. your lease probably states that you cannot subrent a room in your apartment. in this rental agreement violation, you may lose your lease, since you have violated the terms of the agreement. you have place yourself in a catch-22 situation. all you can do is to ask the subrenters to leave. once you apply for a Writ of Eviction, your landlord is going to ask you some serious questions. all you can do is to ask them to leave or you may find yourself leaving with a Writ of Eviction.

HelpMeFluth's avatar

What would happen if I were to simply leave the property and turn the keys into the landlord and tell them to kick the people out. Our lease states that I am month to month and can do this (I must give a months notice which I will). Will the landlord then be able to evict the illegal tenants as mere trespassers?

@john65pennington Am I able to even apply for a writ of eviction of my lease does not allow me to sublet?

perg's avatar

It’s been a while since I looked up the laws in my state, but I do recall that the laws regarding renting a separate dwelling (ie, a self-contained apartment in your house) were stricter than those regarding renting a room to a roommate, in which some common areas are shared (which sounds like what you’re doing). It was a relief to know that I would have an easier time booting someone who was three steps from my bedroom door at night.

Not knowing where you live, I can’t suggest any helpful resources like this one for my state but check your state government listings – there may be a comparable agency where you live that can answer these questions.

lillycoyote's avatar

@HelpMeFluth You keep wanting to call these people “illegal tenants” and “trespassers.” I suspect the law does not see them as such. If you are a month to month tenant and give notice to your landlord, and do whatever is required of you under a month to month tenancy then you can go, and I believe your landlord can either evict the other people or they can work things out with the landlord in a way that will let them stay there. It might be the best way out for you, if you can afford to move.

HelpMeFluth's avatar


That’s a good idea. Perhaps I can get the lease transferred to their names legitimately. I may go that route

One more thing. Although I wouldn’t want to do something this shady, only as a last resort would it be illegal to cancel and stop payment on all utilities (cable, internet, water, electric) in order to force these people out? There is no law saying I have to maintain these services and since they are under my name I am free to cancel them. Since they are not on the main lease they can not start these services back up.

I would rather do this in a civil manner, but I am just preparing for the worst case.

lillycoyote's avatar

Again, I am not a lawyer, but no, you can’t do that kind of thing. That kind of stuff is illegal pretty much everywhere, as far as I know.

And in Florida:

Section 83.67, F.S.
Florida Law does not allow a landlord to force a tenant out by:

• Shutting off the utilities or interrupting service, even if that service is under the control of or the landlord makes payment;
• Changing the locks or using a device that denies the tenant access;
• Removing the outside doors, locks, roof, walls or windows (except for purposes of maintenance, repair or replacement); and/or
• Removing the tenant’s personal property from the dwelling unless action is taken after surrender, abandonment, recovery of possession of the dwelling unit due to the death of the last remaining tenant in accordance with section 83.59(3)(d), or lawful eviction.

If any of these occur, the tenant may sue for actual and consequential damages or three months’ rent, whichever is greater, plus court costs and attorney’s fees.

From this summary of Florida landlord tenant law.

Shady is shady, illegal is illegal and illegal is very possibly going to land you in whole lot more trouble than merely having to share an apartment with people you no longer want to share it with.

I don’t think I have anything more to offer you. I’ve already possibly given you bad information, I don’t know, because… yup, I’m still not a lawyer. Sorry. Maybe one of the attorneys on fluther will pop in to help you and right any of the information I have given you, if it is incorrect.

john65pennington's avatar

HelmeFluth, once you tell a judge this situation, he is probably going to give you the same answer as myself. there are certain guidelines that must be met, before a judge will issue a Writ. all of this is civil, not criminal.

HelpMeFluth's avatar

So you’re telling me that I am bound to indefinitely having tenants in MY house no matter what even though my lease states signed and noterized by both tennants states.

“The property lease holder (my name) reserves the right to evict the tenants. The property lease holder reserves the right to cancel the lease with (real landlord’s company name) at any time.”

Would a judge rule on my side with that clause even though if I give proper notice. I doubt one can be indefinitely bound to rent their own personal dwelling to subletters.

Jude's avatar

It’s shady and I hope that you get caught. Sorry.

lillycoyote's avatar

You can evict them, it just has to be done legally, that’s all.

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