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Ask Barrister Your Own Question
Barrister
Barrister, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 36612
Experience:  16 yrs practice, Civil, Criminal, Domestic, Realtor, Landlord 26 yrs
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Roommate moved out of our apt with no notice to me. We are

Customer Question

Roommate moved out of our apt with no notice to me. We are both on lease. We have 6 mos left on lease. She wants to pay 400 of her 700 share to get her off lease. If she left, why am I the one in jeopardy to pay entire rent?
JA: Because laws vary from place to place, can you tell me what state the property is in?
Customer: ct
JA: Has anything been filed or reported?
Customer: office only
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: i don't know if I should sign her off lease since I can't afford 1400 a month but don't want to get evicted with bad credit
Submitted: 4 months ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Barrister replied 4 months ago.

Hello and welcome! My name is ***** ***** I am a licensed attorney and will try my best to help with your situation. There may be a slight delay in my responses as I research statutes or ordinances and type out an answer or reply, but rest assured, I am working on your question.

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Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Fm is only paying the 400 for feb
Expert:  Barrister replied 4 months ago.

Unfortunately under the legal doctrine of "joint and several liabilty" everyone on the lease is entirely liable for the entire lease amount. So the landlord can come after you for the entire amount, the roommate, or both of you..

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So if your agreement with roommate was to split the rent, if she doesn't pay her half, you can sue her in small claims court each month she doesn't do so, get a judgment, and then garnish her wages to pay the judgment amount.

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She doesn't get to decide that she just isn't going to pay her full half and stick you with the rest..

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So no, it would be a bad idea to agree to let her off the lease unless you have someone willing to move in to take over her place. You can hold her liable for her half until you find someone else to move in, although you do have to try to limit your damages by attempting to find a new roommate..

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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