Is a subleasee responsible for damage to property?

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Is a subleasee responsible for damage to property?

My fiance sublet his motorcycle about 7 years ago to a friend. This friend totaled his bike and it was sold in a police auto auction. My fiancé still owes $7,000 for the bike and they are garnishing his wages at his job. We are barely surviving. Since the persom subleasing it recked it, shouldn’t he have to pay the bike off? There is noterized signed contract for the sublease. Is this worth battling in court over or would we be wasting time?

Asked on July 25, 2014 under Bankruptcy Law, Ohio

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

Unfortunately, the lender on the debt (i.e. the creditor) had an agreeement with your boyfriend not his friend (i.e. the sublessee). Accordingly, your boyfriend is still liable to his creditor. Therefore, any legitimate collection action against him is proper. That having been said, the sublessee should be responsible for reimbursing your boyfriend (depending on the terms of their lease agreement). Therefore your boyfriend could sue the sublessee to collect (assuming that not too much time has passed since all of this occurred; otherwise any action may be barred by something called the "stature of limitations"). At this point, you should consult with a local attorney as to his specific rights under applicable state law.


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