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Lucy, Esq.
Lucy, Esq., Attorney
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 27621
Experience:  Attorney
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My daughter sublet an apt and got on a lease, the two other

Customer Question

My daughter sublet an apt and got on a lease, the two other people on the lease had been there 2+ years. The other girls were nasty and rude to my daughter so she moved out after only a month and a half. Due to other issues the other two girls were asked to move. Now, my daughter has received a bill for damages to apt along with the other tow for 1700.00 Should we have to pay that?
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 9 months ago.

Hi,

I'm Lucy, and I'd be happy to answer your questions today. I'm sorry to hear that this happened.

As far as the landlord is concerned, when your daughter signed onto the lease with everyone else, she agreed to be jointly and severally liable for any damages. That means the landlord has a right to sue any one of them - or all three - to collect if the place needs repairs that aren't covered by a security deposit. Because the landlord has a signed contract, they don't have to make any efforts to determine who caused specific damage. She could try to negotiate with the landlord or prove that the damages were done either before she moved in or after she moved out, but the landlord doesn't have to agree not to sue her.

If your daughter does wind up getting sued, she can go after her roommates for their fair share of the damages paid. The fact that the landlord is allowed to sue her doesn't prevent her from going after the party who is actually responsible. Or if she's worried that the landlord will refer her to collections, she can pay and then sue her roommates. She'll have the burden of proving that they were the ones who caused the damage.

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Customer: replied 9 months ago.
how can you sue the other girls when they wont answer a question? I have pictures of before and after we moved in and I can prove it was before we moved in
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 9 months ago.

If she files in Small Claims and they don't respond, she automatically wins. The beauty of the American system is that anyone can sue anyone else, with or without the other party's consent.

Collecting a judgment in Texas can be difficult. That is something your daughter should be aware of. It's possible that the landlord is asking her for money because she seems like the most likely to pay. She isn't guaranteed to get the money even if she gets a judgment. She can choose to force the landlord to sue her - but she also needs to know that it could destroy her credit if she does that. An unpaid judgment stays on a person's record UNTIL it's paid, then for another 7 years. That could affect getting a house later, and even make it tough to get certain types of jobs.

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