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barristerinky
barristerinky, Attorney
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 37052
Experience:  Attorney over 16 years, landlord 26 years
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I am living in a house with 3 other people I was not given a

Customer Question

I am living in a house with 3 other people I was not given a copy of a lease where I signed anything the 3 other people moved out in the middle of the night. three days before that they threated me and when they left they have keys the landlord said I have to p[ay to recode the locks I fear for my life here at night and now they say I have to pay all the rent.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Expert:  barristerinky replied 1 year ago.

Hello and welcome! My name is ***** ***** I am a licensed attorney who will try my very best to help with your situation or get you to someone who can. 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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I am sorry to hear that your roommates abandoned you like that..

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What is your legal question that I can help with tonight?

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Are you asking if you are liable for the rent? or if you have to pay to have the place rekeyed? or something else?

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thanks

Barrister

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I want to know about the rent and not being safe this person pushed me and the police did nothing
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I want to know if I am lliable for all the rent and what about the safety of those people having keys to get in and days before they left the woman pushed me and the police did nothing I am 60 years
Expert:  barristerinky replied 1 year ago.

If you signed the lease along with the other people, then all of you are liable for the entire rent each month under the legal doctrine of "joint and several liability". So the landlord can come after one or all of you for the rent each month.

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But if they left, and aren't paying their share, you can sue them in small claims court for their portions each month since they are in violation of their agreement with you to pay their share of the rent.

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As for your personal situation with the roommates, I can't really tell you why the police didn't do anything but normally it is based on proof.. If one person says it happened and the other says it didn't, and there is no physical injury or other proof, then they won't act because they have to prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt (i.e. 99%+ ) to a jury.

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With regard to the lock, again, if there is nothing defective with the lock, and you would like it changed because of the issue with the roommates, that isn't the landlord's legal responsibility.

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And I hate to say it, but if you did have the locks changed, and the other people came back, the landlord would have to give them the new keys because they are still tenants under the lease.

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I am very sorry that I don’t have better news, but please understand that I do have an ethical and professional obligation to provide customers with legally correct answers based on my knowledge and experience, even when I know the answer doesn’t make the customer happy...

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thanks

Barrister

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
what about the part that I do not have a signed copy of my lease and the only peoples names that are on the copys that I have are the people that left
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
what can I do about that part
Expert:  barristerinky replied 1 year ago.

If you never signed a lease with your name on it, then you would be a month to month tenant and could terminate your tenancy with a one month notice to the landlord. But if the landlord has a lease you signed with your name on it, then you are bound for the term of the lease contract.

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But the fact that you don't have a copy of your lease doesn't affect your position from a legal perspective. If you are living there, then you are a tenant, whether under a fixed term tenancy or under a month to month tenancy.

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thanks

Barrister

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