If my roommate was arrested for assaulting me andI moved out, canhe now sue me for my share of the rent?

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If my roommate was arrested for assaulting me andI moved out, canhe now sue me for my share of the rent?

I am being taken to small claims civil court. The plaintiff first filed a breach of lease claim but the judge dismissed the case. The plaintiff re-filed breech of an oral contract; we are set for trial. The plaintiff was arrested for battery against me (his 2nd arrest). After the arrest the plaintiff would not agree to work with the property management company to find safe living arrangements. So I moved out for safety and stopped paying rent. The plantiff is now suing me for rent that he paid.

Asked on September 20, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Florida

Answers:

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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Listen, this is America.  And people are given the right to go to court and bring law suits.  And thankfully there are those that sit on the bench who will listen to both sides of an argument and hopefully render a just decision.  Now, here is what I think about your situation.  You need to turn the tables on the psycho landlord/room mate.  You need to argue to the court that you were "constructively evicted" from your apartment due to the circumstances surrounding your leaving and that because of same the lease agreement  - of any can be found - is void.  I would also gather as much evidence as you can - the police report, a letter from the management company, witnesses - what ever.  And speak with a tenant's rights attorney as well. Good luck. 


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