He sleeps on the couch and watches TV all day, leaving remnants of pizza and wings all over your coffee table. She seemed like a responsible person when you met her, but over time your roommate has borrowed money and is no longer pulling her share. Regardless of the scenario, you don't have to inconvenience yourself by allowing the individual to stay in your house when you are unhappy. It's your house, not theirs; your name is on the mortgage or rental agreement. You have the right to say, "Get out!"
The Unwelcome House Guest
If the unwelcome guest is a close friend or family member, the best approach is to ease him out. Have a heart-to-heart talk. You might start by saying, "John, we enjoyed visiting with you, but we also enjoy our privacy, so we're going to have to end our visit and ask you to leave now." If you can afford it, offer to put him up for the night in an inexpensive hotel. This will physically get him out of your house and force him to find another place to go. Make sure he understands that the next time he comes for a visit, he must make plans with you ahead of time and leave on the date agreed upon.
The High School or College Graduate
When you let your adult child live with you rent-free with no responsibilities, you take away her motivation to get out on her own. You may not want to kick your child out without warning, but it's important to set some ground rules to encourage her to start looking for her own place. Some examples of requirements you might set for your child include:
- Get a job.
- Pay rent and a portion of the utilities.
- Clean up messes she makes.
- No overnight guests.
- Home by a set curfew.
This will motivate her to move out to gain freedom. Help her with important goals like saving money, so she is unlikely to return. Take her apartment hunting and educate her about safety tips for living alone, such as keeping all doors and windows locked. Teach her how to research crime statistics in an area before moving into an apartment. Show her how to budget for utilities and other bills. She may need a roommate until she's in a position to live on her own.
The Live-In Ex
Despite the fact that the home belongs to you, at one point you allowed your ex to share residency. No matter what state you live in, he will likely have tenant rights, so the easiest way to get him to move out is by being civil and courteous. Plan ahead in anticipation for the move-out discussion. Decide how you're going to divide shared belongings and finances. Set a move-out date to keep him on track. Try to be flexible -- compromise when dividing your shared items. He might not find a place overnight, so be understanding and give him some space while he figures it out.
The Roommate Situation
Whether your roommate is a slob, borrows your things without asking or simply fails to pay her portion of the utilities, you can dump him or her amicably. There are several forms of assertiveness. The basic level begins with a simple request to express your feelings. For example: "Mary, things haven't been working out with us as roommates and I think it would be best if you found another place to live." Give her a reasonable amount of time to find another place and be willing to compromise in exchange for her leaving willingly. You might cover her share of the utilities for the last month, for example. Be civil and give her plenty of space while she focuses on finding another place.
Kimberly Liby has been a content writer and editor since 2006, with articles in "944" magazine. She has written on a range of topics including cooking, health, current events, philosophy, psychology, career, education, writing and editing. Liby holds a Bachelor of Arts in English literature with a writing minor from Arizona State University, and a Master of Science in psychology from the University of Phoenix.