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TexLaw, Attorney
Category: Legal
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Experience:  Lead trial/International commercial attorney licensed 11 yrs
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I have 2 simple question re: reconciling expenses from a local

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I have 2 simple question re: reconciling expenses from a local bank's checking account that was specifically opened for household expenses.

Here's the scenario:
2 primary room mates have contributed and deducted funds for 1 year's lease period.
Roomate (RM) #1 opened the account in his name and gave RM#2 full access to conduct business out of the account.

Both RM(s) were responsible for 1/2 of all expenses with one exception: RM #1 paid $60 toward the cable, phone and internet bill which left RM#2 with the balance which was approx $100 monthly.

RM2 had the responsibility of all utility bills in their name.

A 3rd RM was added for a three month period to help provide temporary housing until they could find permanent housing. This RM was responsible for paying 1/3 rent and all utilities with the exception of the cable, phone and internet bill which they agreed to split the balance of the bill (after RM #1's $60 deduction for the payment). They also agreed to pay 1/3 of any misc household expenses (minor expenses, i.e. Walmart)

Finally 2 questions:
1. Excluding the rent that RM#3 paid monthly, does the balance owed for utilities go to RM#2 who was responsible for paying the utility bills or RM#1 who opened the account in his name?

2. Would 1/3 of the misc household expenses go to the house account to be split between RM1 and 2? Why would it go #2 because he physically opened the account?

My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will be assisting you with your legal question.

If all the room mates entered into an agreement regarding the split of expenses as you have stated, then that agreement is binding on them.
Thus in answer to question 1, the balance owed on the utility bills should be split according to that agreement. Based on what you've told me, the agreement was that the split would be 3 ways on the remaining balance for utilities no already paid by RM3.

In respect to question 2, you did not state that there was any agreement on the split of miscellaneous household expenses. If there is not any agreement specifically regarding these expenses, then the expense would go to the person making the purchase. If the person making the purchase made payment from the shared account without authorization, that person is personally liable to repay the household account.

The fact that one of the RMs physically opened the bank account should not come into consideration in these matters whatsoever.

Please let me know if you have any further questions. Please also kindly consider rating my answer positively so that I am credited by the website for my work on your question. Rating positively does not cause an additional charge and does not prevent us from further discussing your questions.

Kind regards,
TexLaw and 10 other Legal Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Attachment: 2013-10-08_230138_household_expenses_example_for_attorney.xls

Hi Zachary. thank you for your quick reply. I am RM2 and have paid all of the utility bills in full.


RM 3 agreed to pay me his balance due for utilities and has done so.


RM 1 still owes for his balance due for utilities for the final 3 months.


RM 1 is thinking that RM3's balance that was due (including utilities and misc household) should all go to him since the opened the account.


I've attached a spreadsheet as an example for you to see.


What I'm trying to determine on funds deposited and deducted is how to allocate $$ accordingly. We have1 main column for the house account and 3 additional columns for 3 RM's

If RM1 still owes, then RM1 has to pay. The funds from the account should be allocated exactly according to the agreement.

The agreement, as I understand it is:

1. Utility bills other than internet, cable and phone are split 3 ways.

2. Internet, Cable and Phone bill - RM1 1/3 reduced by $60; RM2 1/3; RM3 1/3.

So, if you have paid all the utility bills, then the money should be credited to your account to bring you back up to even given the agreed division of bills.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you Zachery for you useful advice!


Kind Regards,