If I live in a college dorm, can I sue my roommate for refusing to take responsibility for room damages that I had to pay?

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If I live in a college dorm, can I sue my roommate for refusing to take responsibility for room damages that I had to pay?

Asked on October 3, 2012 under Real Estate Law, New York

Answers:

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

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Actually, yes you can sue your roommate for refusing to take reponsibility for any room damages that you had to pay. If they were equally caused my the 2 of you (or your respective friends), then you can sue for 50% of the amount that you had to pay. If your roommate (or their friend's) were 100% responsible for the damages, then you can sue for the entire amount.

In either case, you would file in small claims court. The fees vary, so be sure that the cost of filing is less than what you want to collect or else sueing obviously makes no sense. Also, if you have photos of the damage, any witness staements or any other relevant ingormation regarding the damages, bring them with you to court; the judge will want to see them. Finally, let your roommate know that if you are successful in obaining a jugement, you will see that a record of the judgment is noted on their credit report; this may well spur them to giving you what they rightfully owe.


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