My ex-girlfriend and I signed a lease on 4/28 she has gone AWOL.

Albuquerque, NM On 4/28 my now ex-girlfriend and I signed a 6 month lease where
rent is typically around 700 a month. About May 7th our relationship ended and
she took off. Up until today she has only removed a small amount of her things
from this apartment. It would cost us nearly 2000 dollars to break our lease and
neither of us can afford this amount right now. She has completely split, left me
with the full amount of rent per month and still has plenty of belongings here.
I’ve been able to determine through social media that she already has moved into
another place elsewhere. So my question is this, am I able to pursue her in small
claims court in any capacity since both of our names are on this lease and we
have been splitting the rent down the middle every month until this one? Any
answers are greatly appreciated and thank you in advance.

Asked on May 30, 2016 under Real Estate Law, New Mexico


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Yes, you could sue her for her share of the rent, since you are both parties to the lease agreement (which is a contract) and she is therefore contractually obligated to pay. Assuming you can establish, such as by texts, emails, or cancelled checks, as well by credible testimony (e.g. your own) that she was paying half the rent, you would have a good chance to get a court judgment against her for her share. Suing in small claims court, as your own attorney ("pro se") is the most economically and quickest way to do this.

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.