If a lease was under my name but I moved out, can I be held liable for someone who stayed behind?

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If a lease was under my name but I moved out, can I be held liable for someone who stayed behind?

I had a lease under my name and my cousin moved in. When the lease was up I moved out a week early out of town and had no idea my cousin stayed. She ended up in court. My name shows up as no appearance. She ended up getting evicted and now I’m being pursued by a recovery group for over 14k. I asked and they do not own the debt. Is there anything I can legally do?

Asked on January 18, 2012 under Real Estate Law, New York

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

If you had a lease in your name and moved out early without having a final walk through and release with your landlord where you gave him or her your key but rather your cousin took occupancy of the former rental, there is a possibility that you very well could be liable for damages and other claimed unpaid rent for the unit.

I suggest that you speak to your cousin as to what happened after you moved out and after she moved in as well as the court appearance where you failed to appear.

I would also go down to the court house and pull the court action that you have written about to see what happened and if there is a dollar judgment against you. After that, you should consult with a landord tenant attorney if there is a judgment against you to see what the best way to resolve the situation that you have gotten yourself into legally. If you were not served with the summons and complaint in any court action, you might be able to set aside the judgment.

 

 


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