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P. Simmons
P. Simmons, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 33070
Experience:  12+ yrs. of experience including real estate law.
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I am residing in an apartment in Blacksburg,. I am on the

Customer Question

I am residing in an apartment in Blacksburg, Virginia. I am on the lease, but one of my room-mate is listed as 'occupant' not as leaseholder. I recently had some issues with him and i am afraid he might damage the property before we vacate the apartment which will be in one month. I was wondering if i can take any legal action if he decides to do extensive damage to the place before he leaves.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  P. Simmons replied 1 year ago.

Hello! My name is ***** ***** I am a licensed attorney with more than 18 years of experience. I am here to assist you with your questions. Please understand that if I ask you for additional information, you are NOT charged again and our communications are NOT timed. So please see this as a relaxed conversation between friends. I am here to help

Also, if you would like to chat on the phone, let me know and I can make that happen.

Sorry...I want to make sure I understand. What is it you want to accomplish? You want to evict him now?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
No i don't want to evict him. I am vacating the apartment before he does. I just want to make sure when he leaves he does not do any damage in my absence. Basically he is not on lease, he is just an occupant. So i am not sure if i can press charges against him if he does any big damage, like in 100 of dollars. I am just being proactive here by knowing the law.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Are you there?
Expert:  P. Simmons replied 1 year ago.

I am...I am typing now...a few mins please

Expert:  P. Simmons replied 1 year ago.

Ahh...thank you

Press charges? Not likely. You could ask the police to prosecute. But since the police have discretion (meaning they do not have to investigate any particular repot of misconduct) they may very well refuse to take the case, telling you to use the civil courts.

And if your roommate damages the property? Costing you money ? You can sue the roommate to recover the money you lost. And, you could use small claims court

Small claims is a true "peoples court". The formal rules of evidence and procedure do not apply. So you can represent yourself (no need to hire a lawyer).

The process is simple enough. You head to the county court (the county where the roommate moves to) and talk to the clerk of the court. They can get you the forms needed to start. You file the claim, serve a copy on the defendant and wait for your day in court.

In court, be prepared to tell the judge what happened, and bring in copies of any evidence that supports your case. IF there are witnesses who can testify about what happened? Have them come as well. At a minimum you would need to prove how much money this cost you (so evidence that shows the damages and how much you had to pay)

Bot***** *****ne: it is not likely the police would prosecute, but you can sue.

Please let me know if you have more questions. I am happy to help if I can. Otherwise, please rate the answer so I may get credit for my work.

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