Can my ex-roommates sue me to help pay utilities if I moved out?

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Can my ex-roommates sue me to help pay utilities if I moved out?

I was living in a house with 2 other roommates. I have recently moved out seeing as I don’t think the landlord was living up to his part, also because my other roommates and I hadn’t been getting along for sometime. I still fully intend to pay my part of rent but now they say they are going to take me to small claims if I don’t help pay for utilities (which are not included in rent; all utilities were to be in our own names). They also said the landlord will be there to on their side. Can they do this?

Asked on December 20, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Wisconsin

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

If the utilities are not part of the rent or otherwise included in the lease as something for you to pay, the landlord should have no role in any lawsuit, other than arguably providing testimony/evidence based on his/her knowledge. However, if you had an agreement, including an oral agreement, with your roommates that you would pay a part of the utilities, that agreement is enforceable even if it was not part of the lease, and they may sue you on it.


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