Do I have a case?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Do I have a case?

Do I have a case? I co own a house and pay 50 of the mortgage. My
roommate takes care of the housing finances. We have common space and
private space. It has just come to my attention that her Private space is
twice the size of mine Therefore she has 2/3 and I have 1/3 and yet she
takes 50 of the mortgage from me. Over the last 15 years I have paid 200
a month more than I should have been, that comes to 36,000 for her to use
her extra space. We do not have any official documents. She was a math
teacher so I have to believe that she knew she was doing this Can I sue her
for that money?

Asked on September 28, 2017 under Real Estate Law, Michigan


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

No, you cannot sue her for the money. You agreed to pay 50% of the costs for the home; having agreed to that, you have no claim against your roommate, who is doing nothing more than honoring the agreement (i.e. paying her 50% share of mortgage): you cannot sue when you and she are honoring the agreement you voluntarily entered into with her. You write that it just "c[a]me to [your] attention" that her space was larger, but you lived with her in this home for 15 years, and presumably saw the home before buying it and/or coming to the mortgage split: the fact you did not previously notice or think about something which was right there for you to notice (i.e. the amount of space you each occupied was not hidden from you) does not give you any legal claim. And even if you are right and she knew that she was getting a better value than you, that also does not give you a legal claim; no law requires her to advise you when she's getting a better deal, or to offer to pay more than you at the time wanted her to pay.

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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