Is there anything I can do about a roommate who is breaking their lease without notice?

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Is there anything I can do about a roommate who is breaking their lease without notice?

I am 1 of the tenants under the current lease at a 2 bed 2 bath condo at Inglenook Plaza. My roommate moved out without prior notice to me or the owner, 2 1/2 months prior to the leases end Aug 31 without paying for her half of all bills and rent for the remainder of the lease. I have proof we have split every bill since living together as well as her denying requests of payment for bills I have sent. Her furniture was also abandoned along with her pet. I’ve been forced to make up for her part of the bills with no prior notice and little time before due dates. Is there something that I can do.

Asked on August 14, 2019 under Real Estate Law, Missouri

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 1 year ago | Contributor

Yes, you can sue your former roommate for her share of the rent, assuming she was on the lease. A lease is a contract: it binds all parties to it, and any party may enforce it against any other party who breaches it. If you and your roommate were both on the lease, you were both liable for the rent; therefore, you could sue her for breaching or violating the lease (her agreement to pay) for her share.
However, as to utility and similar bills, unless there was a contractual agreement that she'd keep paing them for the remainder of your rental, she is not liable for them after she moved out, since she is no longer using the utilities or incurring any of those costs. You could sue her for any unpaid portions of the bills up to when she moved, since she used those utilities, etc. and therefore is resonsible for her share of the cost.


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