If a roommate leaves 7 month early on a lease but leaves their property behind, what can be done with it?

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If a roommate leaves 7 month early on a lease but leaves their property behind, what can be done with it?

A former roommate is no longer on new lease but has said that they want to come claim their property after not making any payments on the lease.

Asked on October 3, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Indiana

Answers:

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

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

You have 2 separate issues here. The first one has to do with the personal possessions that your roommate has left behind. As to that, you need to let them retrieve their belongings; if you don't you could open yourself up to being sued in civil court and possibly  open yourself up to a charge of criminal conversion. So let your former roommate have their things. However, as to any rent that you had to cover for them since they failed to do so, you can sue for any amounts made you on their behalf in small claims court.


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