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Gerald-Esquire
Gerald-Esquire, Other
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 2875
Experience:  30 Years of experience.
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I received a tenancy summons lease that I had paid my full

Customer Question

I received a tenancy summons for a lease that I had paid my full share of the rent but other tenants did not. The landlord will not give me back my deposit either.
JA: When we are ready I'll take you to the appropriate web page.
Customer: ready
JA: When it comes to landlord-tenant issues, accurate information is key. Fortunately, the attorneys you'll meet here have a lot of experience with this, and it would be my pleasure to match you with the best fit.
Customer: I do not know what to expect when I appear in court.
JA: Have you talked to a lawyer yet?
Customer: not yet
JA: Anything else you think the lawyer should know?
Customer: I never received the actual lease until 2 days ago. I am a college student and needed a short rental last semester. I found a rental from February thru may filling in for another tenant who left in january. I signed an addendum and was promised a full copy of the lease.When I finally received the lease it states that all tenets are responsible for payment.
JA: OK. Got it. I'm sending you to a secure page on JustAnswer so you can place the $5 fully-refundable deposit now. While you're filling out that form, I'll tell the Landlord-Tenant Lawyer about your situation and then connect you two.
Submitted: 5 months ago.
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Expert:  Gerald-Esquire replied 5 months ago.

Hello,

Thank you for using Just Answer. I want to provide you the best service I can. Please feel free to ask any follow up questions you have.

I am an attorney with 30 years of experience; I hope to provide you information that will help you in resolving your question.

Unfortunately most leases will have a provision that requires all tenants to be responsible for the rent. This is called Joint and Several Liability. But you have a reasonable argument that since you were not provided the lease you were not put on proper notice and therefore you did not knowingly agree to be responsible for the other tenants. I can not guarnatee that this argument will work with the judge, but it is something to raise in court. You can also raise that the landlord has not joined the other tenants and that they are necessary defendants.

If you have received a Summons and Complaint it is important that you respond to it in writing, denying that you owe the rent and also raising a "Counterclaim" that the landlord failed to return your security deposit. You need to send this back to the Court and to the Landlord.

You also must appear in Court to defend against the Complaint or a "Default Judgment" can be taken against you.

These hearings are held before Magistrates in Small Claims Court. They are fairly informal and Attorneys are usually not present. The judge will as the Landlord to go fisrt to prove his case.

Then the Judge will ask you to tell your side of the story.

After that the Judge will make his decision. If you lose you can appeal to the next level court. BUT you will have to pay the filing fees to do so. The Clerk of the COurt should have the form you need to appeal if it comes to that.

I hope the information I provide is useful to you. I want you to be comfortable and satisfied with my attempt to assist you. Please, if you have ANY follow up questions, feel free to ask. Please note that I am generally unavailable Friday evening through Sunday.

Please do not forget to give me a positive rating. It adds nothing to your costs but it helps me greatly. Thank you.

If you are dissatisfied with my response PLEASE let me know before giving me a negative review so that I may try to be of better assistance. Or if you prefer, let me know and I can “Opt Out” and your question can be re-posted without additional cost to you. I will be fair to you and only ask the same from you.

Good luck.

Please note: Information is educational and not given as legal advice. Only your local attorney can give legal advice. I can't establish or accept an attorney-client relationship with you. All posts are available for public viewing.

Kind regards,

Gerald