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My ex-roomie is going to take my boyfriend and i to a small…

Customer Question
My ex-roomie is going...

My ex-roomie is going to take my boyfriend and i to a small claims court for next months rent. We never signed a rental agreement, but we did try finding people to take our spot so the rent would be covered. They (the other 3 roommates) told us not to because they had a plan. Well there plan ended up failing and they are telling us rent is due. The reason we moved out is because the roommate who signed the lease allowed people to stay in our room while we were on vacation.

Lawyer's Assistant: Because laws vary from place to place, can you tell me what state the property is in?

Pasadena, CA

Lawyer's Assistant: What are the terms of the lease? Any issues related to maintenance or upkeep?

Didn't sign a lease

Submitted: 8 months ago.Category: Landlord-Tenant
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Customer reply replied 8 months ago
5 of us moved into a house together. Only one roommate signed the lease, we'll call her Julie. We had two bedrooms, we only used one and we're going to rent the other one out. Julie also had two bedrooms, we paid the same amount of rent. The 5th room belonged to our single roommate, who was paying the minimum. The last week of October, my boyfriend and I came home to find that people were in our room. There were dirty dishes, a cologne bottle and a women's deodorant, also stuff was moved off our couch. We then find out Julie had allowed her brother and his girlfriend to sleep over in our room without our permission. We confronted her about it, she said sorry then did a 180 and started throwing irrelevant accusations at us saying we argue a lot and that my boyfriend has anger issues for breaking our closet door (we replaced the door with curtains for easy access, the door is 100% okay) and other random stuff. This is all over text message by the way. The conversation ends when she calls my boyfriend a pussy. At that point we were done responding. Two days later we have a roommate meeting. The first sentence to come out of her mouth is "you guys need to move out or we're moving out". They all cornered us and completely dismissed the fact that Julie trespassed. At the end of it we told them we'd be gone by the weekend. We arranged everything that day, already gave away our furniture and made living arrangements with my dad. The first thing the next morning I posted an ad on craigslist so I could help find roommates to replace us before next months rent is due. I took a screenshot of the ad and put it in the group message, then right away Julie responds telling us to take it down because they had a plan. Then I clarified that the point of me helping out was so that we didn't have to pay next months rent. That day they clarified that they wanted to find someone specifically from our single roommates school, I told them again that we didn't want to be responsible for next months rent and that we'd be gone by the weekend. They were fine with it at the time. I also told them that we were cancelling utilities right after we leave. That same night they tell us that they found someone to rent our spare room. Then after that they all come into our room and our single roommate tells us he thinks we should stay, we're in shock at this point, we're just smiling and he's going on about how everything should be fine now that everything's on the table. We tell them we'll think about it. When they leave my boyfriend and I decided we wanted to avoid conflict so we'd tell them we can't stay because we've made arrangements, but of course that's not the reason, but we really had made arrangements and things were said that can't be unsaid. Also they gave away one of our rooms already. Everythingseemed fine at that pint, the next night we were almost completely moved out, we only had a couple small things to come back for. Then the day after that we got in another argument about utilities. When we get to the house to get the rest of our things the first thing Julie does is asks for our key back, my boyfriend breaks it (because ihe paid for it to be custom made and he didn't want her giving it to someone else). We continue loadinghe small stuff then my boyfriend realizes we still have to reinstall our closet door, but we didn't have a screw driver. So my boyfriend speaks Spanish to one of the landlords workers(who's worked on the property several times and was working on it that day) and asks if he'd reinstall it for 20$. He says yes. Then Julie gets pissed off telling my boyfriend he has to do it himself and that we have no rights anymore to be inviting people into the house. Which we did because we were still current with rent. My boyfriend continues arguing his point then Julie starts laughing at him when he's being serious, then he gets mad and starts laughing at her to mock her then she gets mad and kicks him out of the house saying "getthe f**k out of my house". I ask her for a screwdriver which she gives me one and I tell her I'll do it myself. Then my boyfriend ended up asking if he could come back in to help me with the door. We finished the door then we had a last discussion, which ended with my wishing them luck with finding roommates. This was last week. Two days ago they message us telling us that they need us to pay for next months rent because they didn't find roommates, (they're being picky, they want "ambitious and like-minded individuals"). Are we going to lose in court? We didn't sign anything, she trespassed, we tried to find replacements but they didn't want us to. Also our landlord is aware that we moved out, we told him the situation right after it happened, he's not strict at all and knows that the main person who signed the lease makes enough money to pay rent, that's why he only had her sign it.
Answered in 10 minutes by:
11/13/2017
Lawyer: legalgems, attorney replied 8 months ago
legalgems
legalgems, attorney
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 13,644
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I am sorry to hear this. A lease may be written, oral or implied. So the fact that only one person is on the lease does not relieve the other roommates from responsibility. Each roommate would be treated as Co tenant's if the court finds a lease. Generally if a party was entitled to the use and possession of a property they are deemed tenants.If a person that is in position of a landlord (i.e. a roommate that essentially subleases) interferes with the other party's quiet use and enjoyment of the property, the innocent party can claim constructive eviction and end the lease and sue for damages ( ie relocation costs).
The implied warranty of quiet use and enjoyment cannot be waived.If the roommates agree to mutually terminate a lease they are permitted to do so, relieving the parties of future responsibility under the lease.Any dispute under $10,000 is in the jurisdiction of small claims court. The court will consider texts, emails and verbal testimony.
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Lawyer: legalgems, attorney replied 8 months ago
Information on small claims here,
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Lawyer: legalgems, attorney replied 8 months ago
http://www.courts.ca.gov/selfhelp-smallclaims.htmIncludes links to forms, tutorial videos, etc.Good luck to you on this. I am sorry you are having issues with this, especially the unauthorized access to your personal space.Further questions please post here otherwise kindly rate positively if you feel I have earned it! Thank you!
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