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Help! How to get rid of a room mate ??

By Genie - 31 May 2012 120

Riot-Act hive mind I am seeking your advice on how to evict a room mate/boarder, short of illegally changing the locks on them.
My partner owns the house we live in, and currently we rent out the other 2 bedrooms to our freeloader tenants. I’ll call them B1 & B2. Our main issue is with B1.
One of the boarders (B1) has been living there for about 18months or so, and they currently owe several months rent & bills. We are over the excuses as to why B1 WONT pay rent (boy there are some good ones) and have asked them to pay up what is owed and leave. It has also gotten to the point that the second boarder, B2 (who moved in earlier this year) is insisting they shouldn’t have to pay their rent, because B1 doesn’t pay anything.
To give you an idea this is what it is like to live with B1 at the moment:
– B1 loves to complain… about EVERYTHING !
– About the only cleaning B1 does, is mowing the dirt every other month. This includes the lack of cleaning up after themselves.
– They will quite happily pile their dirty dishes up on the sink all week and then complain there is no clean dishes. (we have a dishwasher.. it’s not that hard to pack and unpack it, but we are over cleaning up after them)
– B1 doesn’t like to buy “shared groceries” such as milk or dunny paper. Complains constantly when we run out instead of buying it themself.
– B1 carries on like it’s WW3 should you eat/drink anything THEY pay for. But will quite happily help themselves to any other food in the house and comes running like a starving animal if they know we have bought home bread or milk.
– Complained and acted like a 3 year old when we disconnected the internet and put a lock on the Foxtel.
– B1 will be in shorts and a t-shirt and complain it’s cold, duh it’s almost winter. Instead of putting warmer clothes on, B1 will just turn the heater on.
– heaven forbid you make noise late Sunday arvo because B1 is trying to sleep
– I could go on……..
While it’s kind of funny to put up with B1, we can no longer afford to support 2 room mates who don’t pay their way or help with household chores and would like both of them to move out ASAP.
As there is no written agreement (all done over a gentleman’s handshake) the best advice ACAT can give us is to provide them with a ‘Notice to Remedy” to pay back rent and if they fail to comply we can then issue a “Termination Notice” to evict them. This potentially allows them to stay in the property for another 2 months without paying a cent before we can legally evict them and change the locks.
So I’m turning it over to you… suggestions to speed up the process and be room mate free ASAP ? Or to try and get our money ?

What’s Your opinion?

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120 Responses to
Help! How to get rid of a room mate ??
Reon 10:58 am 31 May 12

Jim Jones said :

If your partner owns the house, and there’s no written rental agreement, then they’re trespassing.

Total bollocks. The law is designed to not have people homeless, so an implict agreement is still an agreement.

IMO you should explain the legal process to them (that it’ll take ages, but they’ll have to pay thousands of rent retrospectively) or that they can leave in four days and not pay the old rent

Genie 10:53 am 31 May 12

According to Legal Aid we have what’s called an ‘implied occupants agreement” and because we asked for rent to be paid 1 month in advance. Legally we need to give them 1 months notice in writing to GTFO. (we thought we should try to do it the legal way)

We can’t legally change the locks until after a court issues an eviction. Stupid laws !

I’m just sick of the ‘I’m not leaving, where am I going to go?’

So suggestions on ways to make them want to leave would be awesome….

Padlock the fridge ?? Hide the dunny paper ?? Disconnect the gas ??

AlpineViper 10:38 am 31 May 12

Before telling them you are kicking them out, make sure you’ve locked up or removed any valuables or breakable things you care about, where practical.

If they are the tantrum child you describe, theres a fair chance they may take it out on your property. Sure you can then call the cops on them for that, but better to try as best you can to prevent the situation in the first place.

carnardly 10:38 am 31 May 12

tell him to move back home to mummy

greyswandir 10:37 am 31 May 12

Surely you’d be best just sitting them both down, explaining you want them to leave, and that if they’re not prepared to co-operate you’ll be using the Courts system to get rid of them. Drop some words like ‘costs’ and ‘backpaid rent’. The Tribunal wouldn’t make those orders in a million years, but if your boarder is as much of a dropkick as he sounds, he won’t know that.

Very Busy 10:36 am 31 May 12

There could be all sorts of repercussions if you don’t handle this situation carefully. Does the tax man know that your partner is earning or attempting to earn income from the property. This could have capital gains tax repercussions as well as income tax repercussions. Does the mortgage provider (if applicable) know that your partner is earning income from the property. This could affect the interest rate applicable to the loan. What are the land tax rules here?

I don’t know the answers here but you should probably look into these issues.

It might be worth making every effort to come to an amicable resolution. Yes, the tenants need to go, but don’t get them too far off side or they might go dibber dobbing.

Truthiness 10:35 am 31 May 12

No agreement, no bills in their name, no proof they even live there.

Two whole fresh bodies full of organs should more than cover your costs.

(i kid i kid!)

Kick them out, cut your loses. From the sounds of it, changing the locks wouldn’t be illegal.

Next time, sign an agreement and hold them to it. Many months of not paying says more about your inability to draw the line than their ability to bullshit. Often it is hard because you become friends with housemates, it is just worth remembering that your friendship and your business relationship are two seperate relationships, if they can’t pay the rent, then the business relationship is over. The friendship can continue, just not in your house.

pajs 10:27 am 31 May 12

You should read this material about how evictions work in the ACT:

It’s not impossible to argue that an implied tenancy/tenancy at will arrangement is a periodic tenancy in the ACT, with the protections those arrangements have.

Personally, I think your best bet might be to have the two of you take full possession of the property and give notice to vacate using that as the grounds.

jessieduck 10:16 am 31 May 12

Give up on getting any money out of them and just tell them to leave.

Charlie57 10:11 am 31 May 12

Sounds like ACAT have hit the nail on the head. Only thing to add is next time get a lease drawn up.

Sorry I don’t have any further advice on this particular issue.

Mysteryman 10:11 am 31 May 12

If there is no formal agreement you won’t need to provide them 2 months, 2 weeks, or 2 days notice to boot his/her ass out.

When B1 comes home, sit him/her down and say that you’re sick of their behaviour and that you want them out of the house. Give them until the weekend to pack their things and move out. Have the locks changed when the weekend rolls around.

harvyk1 10:10 am 31 May 12

ask them to leave, with only a gentlemans agreement they have very little rights. If they are not out within 2 weeks advise them that they would be trespassing.

forget about the back rent, that would be like extracting a tooth.

Jim Jones 10:08 am 31 May 12

If your partner owns the house, and there’s no written rental agreement, then they’re trespassing. Give them notice and let them know if they’re not out within 2 weeks that you’ll be calling the police.

The rent is obviously lost.

blub 9:59 am 31 May 12

Dunno what you can do, but I feel for you!

Rollersk8r 9:57 am 31 May 12

The internet is not going to help you here. It’s very simple – tell them to GTFO.

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