If a roommate breaks a lease and makes you pay for their share, can you keep their security deposit?

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If a roommate breaks a lease and makes you pay for their share, can you keep their security deposit?

A roommate broke the lease and left myself and another tenant to pay. Are we allowed to keep the security deposit since he broke the contract?

Asked on December 30, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Massachusetts

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

If one of your roommates breached his or her written agreement to rent a unit with the landlord where you and the other roommate are left paying his or her share of the balance of the rent for the lease's duration, you are not entitled to keep the security deposit placed by him or her with the landlord.

Rather, your recourse would be to sue your former roommate for his or her share of the monthly rent for the lease's duration that you are fronting for him or her due to the breach of the lease.


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