Can my landlord go solely after me for remaining balanceof our lease if 3 of us are on it?

UPDATED: Sep 19, 2011

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Can my landlord go solely after me for remaining balanceof our lease if 3 of us are on it?

I moved out and my roomates stayed but years later I’m now getting sued for the full balance of what was owed.

Asked on September 19, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Michigan


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

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

A lease is a contract that cannot just simply be broken. If you moved out but remained on it, then you were still liable for the rent payments, etc. The reason is that when a lease is signed all tenants become legally responsible for it. This is known as "joint and several liability". Therefore, if a tenant doesn't pay their share of the rent any of the other tenant(s), either individually or collectively, are liable for it.

However, you may be entitled to reimbursement for any money that you are out-of-pocket as a result of this. If too much time has not passed, you can sue the offending roommate(s) in small claims court for reimbursement. 

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 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.

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