Can I Ditch My Roommate to Live With a Friend?

The Ethicist replies.

I'd been living in my apartment for a year when my current roommate moved in. We didn't know each other beforehand, but she has turned out to be a nice person whose lifestyle is very similar to mine. As roommates go, she's a good one, and I have no complaints about living with her. But I just found out that one of my best friends is moving to my city in a few months (around when my lease expires), and she and I would like to live together in this apartment. The problem is that I don't think my current roommate has any desire to leave.

In many ways, this apartment is mine. I was here first, the apartment is stocked and furnished with things I bought and my name is the only one on the lease. My roommate wanted to sign a lease, but because my landlord already knew me, he preferred to keep our current arrangement. We ended up just signing a sublease agreement between us. Of course, none of that is my roommate's fault, and after living in the space for a year, she must feel a certain claim to it. Is it wrong of me to tell her she needs to leave at the end of our lease? And if not, how do I broach that conversation?

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