What can I do to get money back from friends who I had a verbal rental agreement with?

I allowed 2 friends to rent a room in my apartment as long as they split the rent and electric with me 3 ways. They never paid for the 3 months they lived there or the electric. They Vandalized my personal property and walls writing on them and punching a hole in the wall. I am not being evicted and losing my last month’s and security deposit. I am wondering what I need to do to bring them to court and what I am entitled to.

Asked on March 1, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Massachusetts


Trevor Clement / Law Office of Trevor A. Clement, LLC

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

You would need to sue them.

You could recover whatever money you had to pay to your landlord for the damage they did, plus the value of your property that they destroyed and whatever they were supposed to pay for the rent and utilities.  Of course, since you have no written agreement it will just be your word versus theirs.  I hope you have some witnesses to the damage they did.

You don't say why you're being evicted, but it's likely because of the damage they did and/or that you illegally subletted the apartment.  In that case, there's nothing you can do about that.  You are responsible for their actions and your landlord is allowed to evict you for wrecking the apartment and/or subletting when the lease doesn't say you can.

If you choose to sue, you can sue in small claims for up to $7000.  If you want to do that, go to the court and ask them for a small claims complaint form.  You will need to pay a filing fee.

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