Can you collect money for unpaid bills from old roommates without having their names on the bills, if their names were on the lease?

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Can you collect money for unpaid bills from old roommates without having their names on the bills, if their names were on the lease?

Asked on August 6, 2012 under Bankruptcy Law, Virginia

Answers:

MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Lease agreements are different than other bills. If your roommate was on the lease with you, then he or she is contractually obligated equally to the landlord as you are. If your landlord only sues you, then you can sue your roomie for contribution of his or her share (fifty percent let's say).  Now, if you have utility bills for example (electricity is in your name or phone bill for the landlline is in your name), then you most likely cannot successfully sue your roomie for those monies unless you can show a writing wherein the roomie agreed to be responsible for a portion of those bills. 


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