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Can I tell my roommate to move out if they are not doing the things you need to do to be safe during COVID-19?

Produced by Legal Services Center of Harvard Law School
Created May 2020

No. You cannot make your roommate move out of your apartment.

You cannot force them to leave, but you can:

  • Ask them to follow the rules to be safe during COVID-19 like washing their hands and social distancing, or
  • Tell them you would rather they not be in your apartment while they are unsafe.  But it is their choice to leave.

Only a judge can order someone to move out of your apartment. Only the landlord can get a move-out order from the judge. If you are not the landlord, you cannot evict your roommate. See Evictions.

Your landlord cannot evict only one roommate.  If your landlord wants to evict anyone they must evict all adults in the unit. 

But because of the Eviction Moratorium most landlords cannot evict their tenants at all.  

Do not try to force your roommate out by changing the locks or shutting off the utilities. You can ask your landlord if you can break your lease so that you can move to a place where you feel safe.

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