If I select an apartment with a couple future roommates and don’t follow through, what is my financial liability?

UPDATED: Jul 30, 2010

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right legal decisions.

We strive to help you make confident insurance and legal decisions. Finding trusted and reliable insurance quotes and legal advice should be easy. This doesn’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own.

UPDATED: Jul 30, 2010Fact Checked

Get Legal Help Today

Compare Quotes From Top Companies and Save

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

If I select an apartment with a couple future roommates and don’t follow through, what is my financial liability?

 I turned in a basic application and paid a portion of the security deposit, but did not sign the lease. One of the three of us signed the new lease before I had a chance to discuss lease breaking terms with my current landlord–that is when I discovered I could not afford to break my lease, and I am not financially able to pay rent on two apartments. She has threatened to sue me. I’m worried and not sure what to do.

Asked on July 30, 2010 under Real Estate Law, Wisconsin


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

Unless Wisconsin law differs from other states, and an application is binding, if you did not sign a lease then you are not obligated under its terms.  The security, however, may be non-refundable if it was termed an "application" fee.  Your future roommate had an expectation that you would sign but she wants to use your agreement as a binding contract between you all to sign the lease.  If you had clearly expressed to her your having to break your old lease as a "condition precedent" to signing then you are fine.  May I suggest that you find someone to take over your old lease from the landlord if possible.  Then the landlord may let you out.  Otherwise, try and find a replacement for the new leasehold.  And just tell your future roommate that you are sorry but she knew that you had a binding contract already and could not sign unless you could break the contract early.  You can not and now you can not sign the new lease.  

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 AttorneyPages.com 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.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption