How to Ask a Roommate to Move Out

Feb 1, 2011Updated 1 month ago

Asking a roommate to move out can be a tough decision.
There often comes a time when it is necessary to ask a roommate to leave. You could be moving to a new location. Perhaps the two of you just aren't compatible anymore. There are any number of reasons to ask a roommate to leave. What is the easiest way to handle this type of situation?

Sleep on Your Decision

Having a roommate leave is a big decision. Sleep on it several nights before bringing it up in the conversation. Chances are that your roommate realizes that there is a problem and they will have to leave. However, think it over carefully before making the choice and voicing the decision.

You do not want to feel guilty, regretful or second-guess yourself later. If you have any doubt about the decision, continue to think on it. You should feel completely confident in your decision before approaching your roommate about it.

Avoid Asking in an Argument

One of the worst ways to handle roommates or any situation is during the heat of an argument. You run the risk of saying things you will later regret. You can avoid further negative feelings and even potential hostility by waiting until things have calmed down prior to approaching the subject. Never make decisions about roommates during heated arguments.

Avoid Asking after Work

It can be tempting to cover everything that needs addressing right after someone gets in from work. Be respectful, regardless of the situation. Give yourself and your roommate time to relax and unwind for a minimum of 15 minutes after work. You don't know what type of day they've already had. Tension and stress from work can make the situation less pleasant and waiting can help.

Give Ample Notice

If the situation is unbearable, it can be tempting to give your roommate only a day or two to get out of your home. However, avoid this. Be the bigger and better person. Give your roommate at least two or three weeks' notice. This allows time to make other living arrangements, get packed and move.

Don't Lay Blame Solely on the Roommate

Even though it's hard to admit, both parties usually contribute when there is a conflict. Avoid laying blame solely on the roommate. Use statements that begin with: “I feel”, “I need”, “I want”. For example, “I feel unsafe when you drink.” This is not laying direct blame but is addressing the problem.

In summary, the easiest way to ask a roommate to leave is to initially sleep on your decision and make certain it is the best choice. Avoid asking during an argument or after work. Give your roommate adequate time to find a new place to live. Most importantly, regardless of the circumstance, never lay sole blame when you ask a roommate to leave.


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