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Real Estate Law (esp. Landlord-Tenant)/Live In Oakland, CA, Want To Evict My Roommate, Procedures To Follow?



I am living in and own a single-family house in Oakland, CA. I have two roommates. One of the roommates has been giving me problems regarding living here at my house. He has been living here for one year and two months. I have had usage issues with him (abusing my belongings, appliances) over the year and two months, but, I am going to write about issues that have surfaced over the last two months.

I had raised his rent by 10% on his one year anniversary in April 2013 from $650 to $715. I had given him notification on 3/1/2013 about this increase. The way he had dealt with this situation was by not communicating at all until 4/1/2013 via email.

On this date, in this email, my roommate (he was gone for one week, and was not at the house when sending this message to me), stating the CPI in relation to this proposed increase, and that he did not want to pay the rent amount I was proposing.

I had visited the local rent control board concerning what to do in this situation. The representative at the rent control board had said that I could increase his rent as much as I did. The representative gave me these supporting documents that I could use if in case eviction was in my future concerning this tenant.

After responding to my roommate's email, telling him to either move or I will start eviction procedures, my roommate agreed to the rent increase.

But, he is now three months' behind on his share of utility payments for Jan, Feb, and March of 2013. We had made a verbal agreement as to where he would pay $100 on the 15th and the 30th of the month to catch up on this debt.

My roommate has been haphazardly repaying me this utility debt since April 2013. He now owes about $250.

On 5/29/2013, I had confronted him about what he owes.

As it turns out, he'd told me that he is not going to repay me of this debt.

I know that I could've handled this situation alot better than I had, but my roommate got physical with me as to where he put his hands on my hips, trying to shove me out of the room he rents, and he was shoving the door to the room on my foot while attempting to close the door.

I had called the Oakland Police Dept. as a result of this. The police had documented the event, took statements from both of us individually out of earshot. They kept on asking if I wanted to press charges against him. The police had also told me that if I didn't press charges yet, I could later if I had changed my mind. I did tell them about the trouble I had been having with my roommate prior to this event, and my visit to the Oakland Rental Board regarding our rental situation. The OPD then told me that this documentation they were leaving me, documenting this altercation can be used towards eviction procedures against my roommate.

Well, my roommate paid his 6/2013 rent on this day, and disappeared until 6/5/2013. We have not spoken with him or even been in the same room with him since the altercation we had.

Last night, 6/6/2013, I was washing dishes in the kitchen. The space in front of the kitchen sink can accommodate one person standing in front of it comfortably. My roommate decided that he was going to conduct whatever business he needed to do behind me as I was washing dishes.  I did not say anything to him, I did not even look at him, but his presence made me extremely uncomfortable. I had felt extremely offended with him near me, given what I had experienced with him prior to calling the Oakland Police Department to the house.

Because of this experience last night in the kitchen, the experience of him becoming physical with me where I had called the police to the house, as well as the situation concerning the money he owes us for utilities, I want to start eviction procedures against him.

What must I do first? What do I need, who must I see in regard to my rights in this situation? What are his rights? I know that he pretty much sealed his fate with becoming physical with me, in addition to the other issues that I have with him.

Thank you for your time and attention to my message.



Hi Annie,

You should hire a lawyer to begin the eviction process. Evictions can be tricky and can lead to many mistakes and delays if you try to do it yourself. The eviction will normally begin with a 3 day notice, followed by the court filing and getting the tenant served with the court paperwork. You may want to contact a local bar association for a referral. Here's one:

Thanks for your question.

David Piotrowski
Attorney at Law

*No Attorney/Client Relationship and No Legal Advice -

Nothing contained herein is intended to be, nor shall be, legal advice. The above information is not intended as a solicitation and is not intended to be legal advice.  It is your responsibility to seek out competent legal advice from a qualified legal professional before making any decisions relating to your issue.  The hiring of an attorney is an important decision and should not be made based solely on advertisements.

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David Piotrowski, Esq.


My landlord/tenant practice primarily assists California landlords with all aspects of the landlord/tenant relationship including leases, contract violations, non-payment of rent, and evictions. I can also advise, on a more general level, other real property issues.


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Juris Doctor (JD) and Member of the State Bar. Attorney.

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