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barristerinky
barristerinky, Attorney
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 36190
Experience:  Attorney over 16 years, landlord 26 years
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I have a landlord issue. I signed a joint lease with a

Customer Question

I have a landlord issue. I signed a joint lease with a friend for 6months. We have 3 months remaining. My roommate continues to smoke inside which is a violation in the lease, I have asked him to go outside but he refuses. I told the landlord, he then contacted him about it. My roommate has voluntarily said he would move after the call from the landlord. Now my roommate is requesting I give him his part of the deposit back. I said no I will stay and finish the lease out and pay the full rent amount owed each month. The landlord is also saying it would be best if I paid my roommate his half of the deposit back. I think that is wrong and I can't get the landlord to understand me. He is leaving still owing 3 months of the lease and he also violated the lease. What should I do or say?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Expert:  barristerinky replied 1 year ago.

You are under absolutely no legal obligation to pay the roommate half his deposit back. He is the one who is breaching the lease by first smoking and then leaving prior to the expiration of the lease. So legally, if he moves out without your permission, you could sue him each month for half the rent. With that said, if you are agreeing to release him from the lease, then it is the landlord who decides whether or not to refund half the deposit, not you. If you are both on the lease, the landlord has to divide up any refund equally between you both and if you have already given roommate his half, he could get a double recovery.

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So I would simply say "No" if he wants half the deposit back, he can take it up with the landlord to see if he will refund it. You are already being more than considerate in allowing him to move out 3 months early and taking on the burden of the full rent yourself.

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As an aside, in addition to being an attorney, I have also been a landlord for over 26 years...

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thanks

Barrister

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