I told my roommate I would write him a $500 check for security for our apartment in an email. He already paid our landlord the security in full so $500 is only part of it. Will this email be legally binding in a court? Can he sue me for this money if I don’t pay it? If I do pay him the $500, how do I ensure that this is applied to security so he can’t sue me for for that amount even after I pay him?

Asked on June 25, 2009 under Real Estate Law, New Jersey


BP, Member, Connecticut Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

If you agreed to pay the money, whether via written contract, orally or by email, and your roommate relied on your promise to pay, then he could possibly sue you for non-payment.  You should construct a written agreement outlining the terms of the lease, who pays what and when and what happens if someone breaks the terms of the lease.

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