My Roommate is Threatening Me. What Can I do?

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‘I have been living in my apartment for a little over a year now. A few months ago, my (now ex-) roommate decided to move in with her lover. Around then, I allowed another girl to move in in her place and a few weeks ago she added her name (signed) to the month to month lease, with her father as a co-signer. Since signing the lease, she has started to threaten me, saying: that she will no longer pay utilities (since they are all under my name), that she will throw my kitten out on the street, have me kicked out, etc, and, if you’ll believe it, even worse threats. All the threats are in writing because she chose to email me. I’d like to know my options. I don’t want to leave, as this is my home, but I don’t feel safe here. My belongings are not safe, and my kitten is definitely not safe. Everything in the apartment, minus her bed, belongs to me. I don’t want her to harm my cat, obviously. I don’t want this to have to go to court, because I don’t have time or money for that matter. Please help!! Thank you so much!!’

[NOTE: Articles and answers on DearEsq., while written and published by lawyers, do not constitute legal advice, and no attorney-client relationship is formed by your reading of this information. You should always consult with an attorney for any legal situations.]

Get out. Now.

Find a time that the roommate is not there, get your stuff out starting with the cat and working your way from the most valuable things on down.

Do you have legal rights here? Yes, probably. Those will be cold comfort if your cat gets run over by a car because your roommate “accidentally let her out the front door.” If your roommate is stupid enough to make threats in writing, she’s stupid enough to follow through on them. Get yourself, your pets, and your valuables away from her as fast as you can.

After you do that, talk to the landlord. Explain in no uncertain terms that you expect to owe no further rent and to get your entire security deposit back, since he somehow made this person a party to your
contract without your consent. And if he refuses? Consider the loss a small price to pay to get away from that nut job of a roommate.

In the future, be more careful about who you allow to move in with you.

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Author: House Attorney

A house attorney has answered this question.