If my roommate has stopped paying their share of rent can I be held responsible for paying the entire rent?

Asked on July 30, 2015 under Real Estate Law, California


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

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Yes, you can. The fact is that a lease is a contract and your roommate is in breach of it. That having been said, since you both signed the lease you both became legally responsible for all obligations under it, including financial. This is known as "joint and several liability". Basically this means that if one tenant doesn't pay their share of the rent any other tenant(s), either individually or collectively, are responsible for doing so. In other words, while your roommate is responsible ther share of the rent rental payments, if they do not make them, then you must. That having been said, you can sue your roommate in small claims court for any amounts the you paid on their behalf.

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