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

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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.

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