How to ask a resident to leave

A coliving house's vibe can be ruined by even one toxic resident. As one rule of thumb, if you count up the pairwise relationships in your house that are so difficult that either party is no longer interested in making amends, and any single resident has 4 or more of these, then I'd recommend asking that resident to leave. Yes, I realize that this is a high bar.

A friend recently asked me for advice on such a situation:

Hi Jason! I have a community living question for you and wonder if you have any resources on that. If not, it’s totally fine too. We started our community house about a month ago and one of our housemates turns out quite incompatible with the rest of the house. She’s quite difficult to reach compromises with and inflexible when needs of different people have conflicts. Everyone has felt uncomfortable and unsafe living with her. I’m the master tenant and we have been considering asking her to find another home. My compassionate part feels bad doing it because I don’t want anyone to not have a home and she really wants a home. Do you have any resources on best practices/processes to ask people to move out of the house due to incompatibility? Thanks! 🙏

My response, with names masked:

That's a shit situation, sorry 😕 A and B have similar setups, in that the master tenant is the sole person with power to remove residents Both have used the power IIRC At A, the master tenants are well-trusted and waited until it was plainly an issue with most housemates, and when they pulled the trigger nobody was surprised or upset At B the master tenant used the power arbitrarily on people they didn't like, and it ruined the community: others no longer felt safe making long-term plans around it, and eventually mostly left At the Archive we've also had a few evictions One where there was a clear-cut case of assault and we chased the guy out of town and spread the word about him Another where a short-term guest turned out to be toxic to the common space; I simply gave her the feedback somewhat directly and asked her to leave, and she did A third which was sounds similar to yours -- extremely difficult, where we encouraged a housemate quite strongly to stay out of the country and asked if we could arrange to have his things moved to storage, but he resisted quite strongly. Painful all around but eventually he relented. No resources, apologies.

If you have other stories, ideas, or recommendations, please DM me.