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My roommates are trying to kick me out when I'm on the lease. Can they legally do this?

New York, NY |

My roommates the other day told me I had a month to move out of our apartment.

I am on the lease along with them as a primary residence with the Tenant (guarantor). The Guarantor is not my father but one of my roommates. We are listed as "jointly & Individually" under all of our names.

They told me that since the Guarantor wasn't mine that they could kick me out. Can they legally do this? The problem is no one is getting along and they want to get rid of me. It has nothing to do with not paying rent.

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Attorney answers 3


Dear it has nothing to do with paying the rent?

The persons you call "roommates" are co-tenants. They have no power over you and your relation to the apartment and to the landlord. There is no legal cause of action that would allow your co-tenants to "kick you out." Any interference by the co-tenants with your occupancy and tenancy rights is not lawful.

In New York, multiple tenants are EQUAL one to the others, and each, TENANT has a co-equal right to the entire apartment, just as each co-tenant is independently responsible for performing the obligations of tenant described in the lease. That includes rent. The tenant who guaranteed the performance of all tenants does not have a superior right or legal claim to the apartment. He as is equal a tenant as are you and the other co-tenants.

If no one is getting along, and you would be content with being bought out of your interest in the tenancy, and assuming your co-tenants could come up with enough money to make it worth your while to pack up and go and find a new place to live and give you enough time to do so and the landlord and the co-tenants all sign along with you a modification of the lease to remove you as a tenant, and you and your attorney are happy with such an arrangement, then that is a way out.

But you should not try to negotiate on your own. And if no one is interested in buying you out, then you all have to learn to get along, because you made a contract to do so and not just with each other, you made that contract with your landlord.

Good luck.

The answer provided to you is in the nature of general information. The general proposition being that you should try to avoid a bad outcome if you can.



Thanks for replying back! Im not trying to get bought out by anyone. Its just to much of a hassle to find a new apartment and move all my stuff out. I just wanted to make sure that they cant legally kick me out because they decided we were not friends anymore. Also when March comes along i want to know that I can take action if my one roommates takes stuff out of my room and removes it from the apartment. I've done nothing to break the lease and they are just causing problems and want their friends to live with them!

Steven Warren Smollens

Steven Warren Smollens


OK. They cannot kick you out and you are liable for the rent on the lease if you move and you and the co-tenants and the landlord do not sign a lease modification deleting you as a tenant. An illegal eviction is against the law. Your co-tenant can be arrested. Do not let that happen. Hire an attorney and let the attorney read the "riot act" to the dangerous co-tenant. Do not wait until something bad happens as nothing may go well after they illegally evict you and you lose your stuff. You may consider the wisdom of locking up your important possessions, and always carrying on your person a copy of the lease, just in case, so that the police may let you back in. And, you are entitled to be bought out, so there is no reason to take that off the table. Do yourself a favor. Look up unlawful or illegal eviction in New York. And be prepared.


They can't kick you out without instituting legal proceedings, and since you are paying rent, that isn't going to be easy on their part.

If you'd like to discuss, please feel free to call. Jeff Gold Gold, Benes, LLP 1854 Bellmore Ave Bellmore, NY 11710 Telephone -516.512.6333 Email -


If you are on the lease the only one who can evict you is the landlord and then only with cause, such as non-payment of rent or other breach of the lease terms. The "guarantor" simply means that the person who signs as guarantor is ultimately personally responsible to pay all unpaid rents if you fail to pay.

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