Can You Evict a Cohabiting Partner for No Cause?

By Jessica Harman
Jupiterimages/Polka Dot/Getty Images

You cannot evict a cohabiting partner from your shared home for no reason. To evict someone living in the same house, there needs to be a legally valid issue. If abuse is involved, a restraining order will lead to eviction. In cases where you simply want the person to leave for personal reasons, an agreement should be reached where one of you willingly moves out.

Ask the Person to Leave

Ask the cohabiting partner to leave, in a clear and reasonable way, making sure that everyone is on the same page. Communication is key, and can often be facilitated by a couples therapist who is trained in mediating and facilitating mutual understanding. It is best if an agreement can be reached verbally, with or without a third party’s help. If an agreement still cannot be reached, seek legal advice from a lawyer.

Ask a Lawyer

There are laws that protect people from being evicted from their homes. The cohabiting partner has rights as a tenant, even if he is not on the lease. Tenants' rights are different in each state. Get a lawyer to help you with the specifics of your case. Whether you can evict someone and the length of time it might take to do so also depend on whether that person pays rent and helps with bills. A lawyer can inform you of the law in your area.

Talk to the Landlord

The landlord has more power to evict someone from his property than a cohabiting partner living in the house. However, the landlord would still need to go to court and have a case for eviction. Speaking with the landlord may yield a legally valid reason for removing your cohabiting partner from the premises. Nonpayment of rent, damage to the property or behavior such as loud parties may be factors.

Consider a Restraining Order

It is possible to evict a cohabiting partner under certain circumstances, for example, if there is abuse. Abuse can be physical or psychological. In such a case, a restraining order is the most efficient and expedient way of evicting a boyfriend or girlfriend. If there is reason to fear for one’s well-being, a restraining order should be the first step, and it can be obtained from the local courthouse. In the event of immediate danger, call the police or 911.

About the Author

Jessica Harman has been a freelance writer since 2004. Her work has appeared in journals such as "Nimrod," "Belleview Literary Review," "Spillway," "Stand" and "Rosebud." Her translations have appeared in "Arion." Harman holds a Bachelor of Arts in creative writing and a Master of Arts in health communication from Emerson College.