House hacking mistake-no lease-

7 Replies

In February I decided to try housing hacking as a way of gaining additional founds for my first property. The verbal agreement was that my roommate would pay half of rent and utilities. Initially it worked until he lost his job in June. Sense then I received partial payments in July and august only. I have decided that he has been here far too long without paying me and he needs to go.

Beyond the verbal agreement, the only lease is between the land lord and me. That lease states that only 1-2 residents may reside on the premises with my name being the only one actually on the lease. I have informed my landlord about my roommate but there is no agreement between them. The lease that I have is yearly, but out verbal agreement was month to month.

Thus far I have come up with a few ideas. First is to go through the eviction process, with a lawyer, and deplete most of my savings.

Second I can see if he will leave via cash for keys.

Third I can see if he will agree to sign a contract that states he has 30 days to pay me or he will have to vacate the property.

Sense evictions do not look good on someone’s record; I should be able to get him to agree on one of the latter options. Living in Oregon i know the eviction process is stacked against me.

Does anyone have some advice for me?

Wait...so you don't own the house you're the tenant? That's a tough one..I'm not sure how you can use the legal system to get them out of the house if you're not the owner and you don't have a written agreement with him. It would probably be up to the landlord to do that but he's being paid on time whats his motivation? 

Cash for keys is probably the only thing I could think of. Let us know what you decide to do.

So you are a tenant and and subletting one of your rooms to another person. Your landlord is aware of this and has not intervened. You have a written agreement with your landlord, but only a verbal agreement with your roommate.

1. You will remain 100% responsible to the landlord for payment of rent and utilities, as well as all terms of your lease agreement, according to the written terms of your lease agreement with the landlord.

2. The landlord should be concerned, because your roommate has established residency in his unit and is now therefore a tenant of the landlord. Your roommate has rights of tenancy in accordance with Oregon law.

3. You should be concerned, because if you want your roommate to move out and he will not agree to leave, you will not be able to evict him in a court of law, only your landlord will be able to do that. Your landlord would need to show cause, or wait until your lease agreement is up, before proceeding with eviction. The eviction will name all the parties on the lease (including you) as well as all others known and unknown to reside in the unit.

Your best bet is to sit down with your roommate and explore options. Review the verbal agreement you both agreed to and put it in writing. Make sure you are both clear in your communication and expectations. If your roommate won't or can't follow the terms of your agreement, then it is time to talk about a move out plan. Can he move in with relatives? friends? a shelter? What are his barriers? If he is short on cash, can he get a loan, borrow money from relatives or friends, sell some of his possessions, pawn some of his belongings, get assistance from a social service agency? Get a job?

Since he is your roommate and shares housing with you, you need to remain on positive terms. If not for the good of all, at least for your safety and security. It makes a difference if he was your friend prior to this or if he was a complete stranger. How did you meet him? What do you think his reaction will be when you need to sit down and talk together about the arrangement? Do you think you can have a productive conversation with him? Do your best. Be compassionate. Everything is negotiable.

As a renter, you have the best chance of identifying with this person and working out an arrangement.  Most renters kind of despise landlords and are more likely to hole up and 'make' them move.

Coffee with the person in a meeting with no distractions is probably your best bet.  As @Marcia Maynard you will not have the courts to turn to in a formal eviction. Only the landlord can do that in most jurisdictions I'm sure.  Calmly discuss what's going on and some possible outcomes. Don't bring up past drama or other garbage.  Be calm and seek a positive outcome.

Hope this works out for you and your LL @Mason V.  Gotta be tough actually living with a turd.  Please keep us posted!

Hi. This is a very interesting post. Thanks for sharing your issue, it can't have been easy. I'm in Australia so the legalities are different. I'm curious as to how your housemate has any legal standing if you don't have a written agreement. If you advertised and met through a house sharing site, some of your ad and ant messages could provide evidence of an agreement?

I've been house sharing for 10 years, and recently gave notice to a housemate for the first time. It wasn't pleasant, but I think I handled it the best way possible.

 I can't see any reasonable court insisting that you continue to provide free rent in this situation.

Well, we talked last night and apparently he has been waiting for me to kick him out. I He had figured that I would act when I got tired with him. This made for a very peaceful discussion. 

During the discussion i told him the three ties i came up with. knowing that i am interested in real estate he asked what would be the effects of an eviction. I explained that to my knowledge it could give landlords a reason to either not rent to him or charge him-up-the-back-side. Sense he has so much stuff we agreed upon a modified version of option 3 where he can store his stuff here if he can not get me the money. Basically I will keep his stuff until he pays me a storage fee of $50 a month.  Today were going to have the lady across the street sign the contract i wrote up as a witness.