How to Evict Your Roommate in Oregon

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If your name is on the lease, but your roommate's is not, you may be able evict him. Give him the appropriate notice to quit, and if he doesn't leave when the time is up, file a complaint in the court for eviction.

Oregon Eviction Process: Roommates

Oregon eviction procedures are very complicated. Portland has one set of eviction laws and the rest of Oregon has another. There is one notice period for telling a tenant to leave during the first year of a month-to-month tenancy, and a different notice period for the second year.

You may think that evicting a roommate is a simpler matter than evicting a tenant in Oregon. But it is, if anything, more complicated. Oregon landlord-tenant laws have no specific provisions about roommate evictions, and many preliminary issues impact the question.

Roommate on the Lease

If you and your roommate rented the apartment together, both of you should be listed as tenants on the rental agreement. In this case, you cannot evict your roommate – only the landlord can evict him. If you have serious problems with your roommate, talk to your landlord or consider moving out yourself.

Roommate Not on the Lease

If your roommate is not on the lease, he is an unauthorized tenant. That means he has no direct legal relationship with your landlord. Many rental agreements forbid tenants from allowing third parties to live in the premises without written permission of the landlord. If your lease has this type of provision, and your landlord doesn't know about your roommate, you are in violation of your agreement by bringing in a roommate.

In such a case, you are in a hard position. You cannot ask for landlord assistance without explaining that you have violated the lease. However, if you can get your landlord on your side, and she has never accepted rent directly from your roommate, she can serve him with a 24-hour notice to quit for unlawful occupancy.

If your lease does not limit who can live in the premises, your roommate is essentially subletting living space from you. That means, under Oregon eviction laws, that you are your roommate's landlord, and your right to evict is the same as any landlord's. The process to evict a tenant in Oregon is complex.

Roommate Eviction Notice

Every landlord seeking to evict a tenant in Oregon must provide notice, and you must know which rule applies in your case. Many different types of notice exist depending on the circumstances, with time periods ranging from 24-hour notice to 180-day notice.

You may want to contact an Oregon tenant rights organization or even retain an attorney to assist you in determining which notice is necessary in your case. It depends in part on the reason you're evicting the roommate and how long he has lived there with you.

Roommate Eviction in Oregon

Once you give your roommate the appropriate notice to quit, wait until the time period in the notice expires. At that point, if he hasn't left, it is time to file a complaint. Go to court and fill out forms called Residential Eviction Complaint and Summons. The clerk will assign you a first court date. You must arrange to have the court papers personally handed to your roommate by a third party.

If your roommate shows up in court and argues that he shouldn't be evicted, the judge may order you to try to reach an out-of-court resolution by working with a mediator. If mediation doesn't work, the court will schedule a trial.

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About the Author

Teo Spengler earned a J.D. from U.C. Berkeley's Boalt Hall. As an Assistant Attorney General in Juneau, she practiced before the Alaska Supreme Court and the U.S. Supreme Court before opening a plaintiff's personal injury practice in San Francisco. She holds both an M.A. and an M.F.A in creative writing and enjoys writing legal blogs and articles. Her work has appeared in numerous online publications including USA Today, Legal Zoom, eHow Business, Livestrong, SF Gate, Go Banking Rates, Arizona Central, Houston Chronicle, Navy Federal Credit Union, Pearson, Quicken.com, TurboTax.com, and numerous attorney websites. Spengler splits her time between the French Basque Country and Northern California.