Is my ex-girlfriend legally obligated to pay half of the rent on our lease agreement?

If so how do I proceed with getting the rent money? Her father co-signed; it’s an 11 month lease. After 2 weeks in the apartment she decided she didn’t want to be with me and moved out. I have been paying the full rent for 3 months now.

Asked on November 7, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Ohio


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

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Yes, your ex-girlfriend is legally obligated to continue to pay her share of the rent. You can take her to court and sue for any money that you are out-of-pocket on her behalf. If you win, you will be granted a judgment. You could then have the notation of the judgement placed on her credit report. Why don't you inform her of this and see if that prompts her to come up with some rent money.

That having been said, you are unfortunately you are still required to cover the full amount of the rent. When you signed the lease both of you became legally responsible for it. This is known as "joint and several liability". This means that if one tenant doesn't pay their share of then rent then the other tenant is liable for it. Since her father is a co-signer on this lease, you also need to let your ex know that if you can't continue paying the full rent that her father can also be sued by the landlord. This may motivate her (or him) to pitch in with her portion of the rent.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.