If my ex never paid the last month’s rent on an apartment we used to share, do I have to pay it?

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If my ex never paid the last month’s rent on an apartment we used to share, do I have to pay it?

Now I have a bill from a collections agency addressed to me. We broke the lease to move into a house that my ex bought but were paying out the rent we owed under the lease. When we broke up, there was only 1 month’s rent left to pay and my ex promised to pay it. Do I have any legal way of making him pay it instead? Both our names were on the lease.

Asked on January 26, 2012 under Real Estate Law, New York

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

1) If your name was on the lease, you have to pay--when two (or more) people are signatories to a lease, the landlord is entitled to seek the rent from either of them. So the landlord may choose to go after you for the rent. If you don't pay, a default will likely be reported against your credit and the landlord would be able to sue you.

2) If there was an agreement, even an oral agreement, between you and your ex that he would pay the last month rent, you may be able to enforce that agreement. However, if he refuses to honor this agreement, you'd have to sue him for the money, which may or may not be worth it.


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