Ask a Landlord-Tenant Question, Get an Answer ASAP!
Good afternoon. My name is ***** ***** I look forward to helping you.
There are two contractual relationships here...the one between the two of you and the landlord and then the one between the two of you as tenants. As between the landlord and the tenants, each of you is jointly and severally liable for the rent and if the rent is not paid, the landlord can pursue either or both of you for the payment of what is owed. But, between the tenants, you have an agreement to each pay your portion. So, if the landlord collects more than 1/2 from one of the tenants, that tenant then has a claim against the other for the disproportionate amount paid. So, if the other person won't voluntarily pay you, file suit against him for his share. Filing the suit will give you the collection options and leverage you need to collect the debt owed you. That's because once the suit is filed and a judgment awarded, you become a judgment creditor, and if he doesn’t then pay the judgment, you can have the sheriff serve a summons on him for a debtor examination. That forces him to meet you in court again and answer questions under oath about his assets. After that information is obtained, you have the power to garnish wages, attach bank accounts, have the sheriff seize other personal property, and/or place liens on any non-homestead property he owns to satisfy the judgment. In my experience, simply filing the suit is typically all you need to do to resolve this outside of court because most of the time, once served with a summons he is sued, he will want to pay you to avoid defending and losing a case he has no chance of winning.