The curse of the bad roommate.
A bad roommate can comprise a lot of things. They may have nasty living habits and gross you out on the daily. On the flip side, they can be abusive and negligent people that ultimately create hell in your shared living space. Whatever it may be, you want them out, and you want them out now.
Ever though about evicting such a roommate? Well, odds are you probably don’t have a legal case to do so if your roommate is just “annoying”. However, if your roommate seriously breaks the rules and goes above and beyond to go out of hand, you may just have a case to dump them along with the garbage on the side of the street.
Lets be honest, you probably want to kick out your lazy roommate everyday for not doing the dishes, but is it really evictable? To make things simple, here is a list of sample actions that cannot be evictable versus sample actions that can lead to an eviction.
The general trend here is basically, just because it annoys you, doesn’t mean it will annoy the landlord, but it doesn’t apply to illegal actions of course. However, if the landlord is missing rent from your roommate, then of course that will become a problem.
If your roommate doesn’t pay rent, you may become responsible for covering them, as you are both in a mutual lease agreement. If your roommate leaves altogether without notice, you will technically become responsible for the entire rent! To avoid this, choose responsible roommates carefully!
Can a roommate evict you?
It depends on who the master tenant is, the primary tenant in a lease agreement. If you are the master tenant and your roommate is the subtenant, they have no right to file to evict you and can only move out of the rental after giving the legal notice stated in your separate roommate agreement. However, they are able to contact your landlord and provide an explanation. The landlord can then file to evict the master tenant, in which case you can be evicted.
You and Your Roommate are Co-Tenants
If this is the case, you and your roommate are jointly responsible. You both signed a lease agreement accounting you both for liability and repsonsibilites, such as paying rent on time and keeping the house intact.
If your roommate has committed one or multiple of the evictable actions mentioned above, then you must alert the landlord immediately. This is because only the landlord can file for an eviction notice in this scenario, as a co-tenant does not have the legal authority to do so.
If your roommate is indeed evicted, your record may also be vulnerable as the public records will indicate negligence for the entire lease agreement, which includes you. In this case, you should ask your landlord to pardon you from this and release your liability in public records.
You are the Master Tenant
If you are the master tenant, you have sole responsibility on the lease agreement, which makes you fully liable for paying rent on time and keeping the house intact. As such, your roommate will be subletting from you directly, and you will be responsible for your roommate on behalf of your landlord.
Because of this, if your roommate slips up and commits an evictable offense, you are on the line too. For example, if your roommate forgets to pay rent, only you will be held accountable due to the lease agreement being in your name. Thus, it is a good idea to get rid of these types of roommates quickly.
The advantage of being the master tenant is that you likely have a separate agreement contract with your subletting roommate, which gives you authority over them. Use that authority to your advantage! If your roommate is risking your image with the landlord, you as master tenant can personally file to evict them.
Your Roommate is the Master Tenant
If your roommate is the master tenant, it simply means your lease agreement has no connection to the landlord, and is instead completely categorized under your roommate. This means that only your roommate has a contractual agreement with the landlord.
The consequence of this is that you have less authority when it comes to holding your roommate accountable for their actions. You have no legal authority over the lease as a co-tenant, or as a master tenant. In this sense, your roommate and landlord have control over you.
There is still ways to evict, or at least manage your roommate. Simply take up the matters with your landlord, and they will proceed as they see fit. If your roommate is evicted, you will be out of a rental agreement as you are subletting under your roommate, so be mindful of this.
Can you or your landlord evict your roommate without notice? The answer would be no. Although your landlord can evict you or your roommate for personal reasons, they still must provide reasonable notice ahead of time so your roommate has time to find new living arrangements and pack up everything.
However, this does not apply to extreme circumstances. If your roommate is violently aggressive, or participating in drug use and other illegal activities, this rule may be exempt and they may have to leave immediately.
What if they refuse to move out?
Refusing to move out after being noticed ahead of time of eviction is a bad idea, and will generally end in your roommate moving out one way or another. If necessary, the landlord can take legal action and file an eviction order, which demands a move out by a specific date. If this is not met, the landlord or master tenant can request for a sheriff to physically remove and evict the roommate from the building.
Communication with the Landlord
Regardless of what type of tenant you are, in the end everything is decided and must go through the landlord. The reason is simple, because the landlord legally owns the property and you don’t. So when approaching your landlord, make sure to fully explain the situation and your side of the story, as well as allow your roommate the chance to explain their side of the story. Give the landlord a fair picture of what’s going on and make sure no information is left out.
Can Your Roommate Evict You?
The short answer is yes. Everything mentioned above applies to you as well if your roommate feels like evicting you over a valid reason. If they are the master tenant, then it becomes even easier for them to do so. To prevent any unfair evictions, take up what you can with the landlord, even though you may not have a contractual agreement with the landlord. The solution to avoid this is simple, make sure you are being a mindful roommate and try to maintain a good relationship with your roommate as well.
Eviction Notice Template
There are eight different types of eviction notices in Ontario. Refer to a guide to ensure you are using the right one. For example, if your roommate hasn’t been paying their share of the rent, then you probably shouldn’t be using form N5, for evicting those who have interfered with others, damaged property, or overcrowded the premises. The forms are relatively simple to understand but make sure every little detail is filled out properly. Screwing up this step can be a major setback for your plans to evict a bad roommate!
There is a total of 8 different notice of eviction forms in Ontario so it’s easy to get confused. Here are some notes on how to prepare these templates. The N4 form is a notice to end your tenancy early for non-payment of rent as early as one day after the rent is due. The N5 form is a notice to end your tenancy for interfering with others, damage or overcrowding. The N6 form may be used to end your tenancy for illegal acts or misrepresenting income to live in a rent-geared-to-income unit. If your tenant is causing serious problems in the unit or complex, you can use an N7 form. The N8 form is used as a notice to end your tenancy at the end of the term. The N12 form is a notice to end your tenancy because the landlord, purchaser or a family member requires the rental unit and must be planning to live in the unit for at least one year. To end your tenancy in order to demolish the rental unit, repair it or convert it to another use, file for a N13 form. Lastly, form N11 is an agreement to end the tenancy. Find these forms on:
Finally, your nightmare roommate is gone.
Seriously, evicting a terrible roommate is easier than you think, and can save you from further future troubles. However, you need to do your due diligence and work out what’s evictable behaviour first. Anything that annoys you but isn’t evictable can probably be sorted out with a focused discussion with your roommate.
I hope this provides a bit more insight in the process and steps of evicting a roommate in Toronto. If you have any questions, please leave them in the comments below!