Legal Advice


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Legal Advice

Ok, I know no one here is a lawyer (that I know of), but maybe someone out there can help me.

I have a roommate I want kicked out of my house. He blasts loud music, has friends over all the time, and steals my food. On two separate occasions, when he has had friends over, and I haven't been home, someone has come into my room, and stolen some of my belongings. The first time, they stole all my Xbox games and DVDs, amounting to $400 worth of stuff. The second time (last night) they stole my XBox, plus my new shoes, my new clothes, the one DVD I've bought since the last theft, and my poker money, amounting to $425. Is there anyway I can kick out the roommate and get him to continue to pay rent? Also, can I sue him for the $825 from the lost items?

Here's a section of Ohio Law I found, but I don't know how to interpret it:

As a tenant, you are generally responsible under state law for any damages to the rental property caused by your guests. Thus, as a host of a party, your risk of liability for property damage caused by your guests increases.
I don't know if that can apply to just a single tenant, or if that is intended for landlords to be able to sue all tenants when property gets stolen or destroyed. Can anyone help, or at least tell me where I can look for help? I've already e-mailed the Student Housing Legal Clinic at Ohio State and am currently awaiting a reply.

I have a suspsicion that my roommate either told them where to look for my stuff or he was in on the theft itself, but I have no proof.


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Damn dude, I don't know what to say. About that law you quoted you there, I think it would apply to your friend and not you, since his guests are NOT your guests, even though that pertains to rental property, as in the apartment and not anything within. You have every right to sue him on the grounds that the people he brought in stole your stuff. If there was a contract that you and he signed, I'm sure you can find something in there to point out how wrong that is. My advice: Milk his *** for any money the bastard has. Knowing me, I would have probably punched him square in his face and tossed him outside of a window. That is just wrong.


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You could perhaps, install a security camera and let your roomate's friend come over and help themselves to your items again. Make sure it isn't much though. Then tell your roomate that your going to bring that tape to the police unless all your stuff is returned and he agrees to move out. Then when if does comply, give the tape to student housing or student judical affairs and let them deal with him.


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Yaboosh said:
Boosh, I'm usually the first one to say something like this, I just don't know where to turn. Maybe someone's had this happen to them before and they would know how to help.


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I had all my CDs (including some now-impossible-to-find computer games) stolen from my dorm room about 6 years ago. I never did anything about it, though.


Diabloii.Net Member
Sorry to hear about your bad luck.

Did you file a police report?

Have you put a lock on your door?

The Ohio statute you quoted pertains to damaged rental property, not stolen rental property. Those are two separate things.

States control rental property laws. Speak in person with someone from the clinic at the college for advice on how to get your roommate out of your place. Talk to the police for guidance on how to deal with your stolen property.


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Yeah, I've filed a police report for each case, I didn't have a lock specifically on the door, but I do have a way to lock it, which I found after the first robbery. I didn't expect I'd be out all night, I was running my girlfriend to half-priced books, and went back to her place, and fell asleep there. I should have called and had a roommate lock my door, but I didn't think of that.

The police couldn't offer much advice as to what to do. His only suggestion was that me and my other roommates should confront the guy, and that what happened to the bad roommate wouldn't be any of the cop's business.


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You filed a report..what are the police doing? You have a theft here..and your roomate may or may not be involved. You losses sure should be worth investigating.

Have you spoken to your landlord about the situation? I would send a certified letter, returned receipt requested to your landlord outlining what your experiences have had.

Do you carry renter's insurance? To be honest with you, I have never been in that boat. I have always either lived at home or by myself while in school.

I would get names for those who you think are involved and be a pain in the butt to the police.

What are the provisions of your rental agreement? Who is actually responsible for the lease? What provisions are there for subletters?

Your main goal is to get the dirtbag thief out of there, correct?

Send me a PM of all your problems..and I can send you some links from the ORC. Remember..this is not advice..just links.


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As I recalled (I'm not known for my memory) from a couple of text books:

You can sue them for conversion. The problem is that you share a place with your roomate. If they took your things from your private room absent permission, then you have a good chance of winning provided you have receipt of some proof to back up your assertion. On the other hand, if your stuff was in a shared location such as your living room. It's may be a problem. You need hard evidence that they stole your stuff. A police report is nice. Small claims is going to cost you about 100 bucks, non-refundable. If they are minors, then you could possibly sue their parents. Most of the time, suing their parents will do the trick because parents hate to lose a days work to get yelled at by the judge that they are crummy parents. Go down to the law library and look under the state civil code.

If you're really angry, you could call the cops down and file a burglary report. This will really put the thumb screw on them as burglary is a felony and could toss them in jail. You could establish burglary if the stuff was in your room and you claim that your door was closed. If the stuff was in a shared area, then it's going to be tough because your roomate gave consent to enter the home. Go down to the law library and look under penal code. This is nice because the district attorney could take over and do the legal works first. Should he suceed, you can use his case to establish your claims without having to prove anything, because the issue was resolved. See Code of civil procedure.

As for getting rid of your roomate. Unless your lease is solely under your name, you will probably be unable to remove him. And even if the lease is solely under your name, you'll still have a difficult time removing him.

Hope this helps.

By the way, this is solely a personal opinion and is NOT a lawful advice.


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Steve_Kow said:
What did your avatar have to say, Aero?
She was unavailable for comment :(

Thanks for the opinion jimmyboy. Yes, this stuff was in my room, with my door closed. It was not in any shared living space by any means.

It doesn't qualify as burglary because there was no breaking and entering of the house. It's only theft, which is a misdemeanor I believe.

I don't have renter's insurance, but I am covered under my dad's homeowner's insurance. It's got a $500 deductible though. Could I make one claim to cover both thefts, and that way, I'd be able to recoup some of it?


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In re homeowners insurance: Yes. You could claim it as a single theft no matter how many items were stolen. Of course some people would claim a little more that lost to make up for the deductions. That's what I hear.

In re Burglary: I am pretty sure that it is burglary. Under the majority of jurisdictions, the moment they openned your door and enter your room without permission shows a breaking and entering. Courts have interpreted a "breaking" broadly. The only defense they have is that your door was open or if you had provided consent to enter your room. The courts will interpet your room as your personal dwelling.

Research the penal code. Most states have enacted statues to make it easier for the district attorney to convict a perp of burglary. Besides, you may be in luck and the police may run a check on their backgrounds and find something. If there were a series of complaints about these guys, the police may get a search warrrant. With a little luck, your stuff may still be in their place, which is a slam dunk.

By the way, your problem is this: how do you know it was them who took your stuff? Unless you've a video or the police find hard evidence, it's going to be your words vs their words. File a police report anyways, you can give the next victim a break.