If I’ve given notice to move and am not on the lease, what are my responsibilities?

I have lived with a roommate for the past 15 months. I recently decided to move out for a number of different reasons and gave her 30 days notice. I never signed a lease nor have I ever seen a copy of it but have read that NC law views an oral agreement as a month-to-month lease hence why I gave 30 days notice. I agreed to pay prorated rent for the 5 days I will be there next month, as well as all of the normal utility bills for this month. Upon moving in, I was never asked to pay a security deposit but my roommate is now requesting I pay that before I leave. Can she do this? I just want to know what I’m legally responsible for paying.

Asked on November 7, 2012 under Real Estate Law, North Carolina


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Assuming that you had no direct agreement with your roommate's landlord and made no rent payments directly to them, you have not attained the staus of full "tenant'. Rather, in the eyes of the law, you will be viewed as a "subtenent'. This means the your roommate is your landlord. That being the case, if you had no formal written agreement between you, you are correct in assumng that you had nothing more than a month-to-month tenancy. Accordingly, 30 days notice to vacate is sufficient. Additionally, you are not now legally required to provide any security deposit) although you can still be held liable for any damages done by you to the premises).

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