What to do if a roommate skips put and yours isthe only name on the lease?

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What to do if a roommate skips put and yours isthe only name on the lease?

I signed a 1 year lease for a 2 bedroom apartment. I asked someone to move in with me to share the cost and asked her to sign a contract between us which she did. After 6 months she left with no word (although I think I know where she is). Do you think it is worth pursuing this with the contract we signed together even though my name is the only 1 on the actual lease agreement?

Asked on March 7, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Washington

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

1) You obviously are responsible for the full amount of the lease, to the landlord.

2) However, your roomate was in essence your subtenant--she was renting from you, pursuant to the contract between the two of you. That contact should be enforceable (though it's impossible for anyone to say for sure without seeing the contractd), so you should be able to sue for the remaining money owed for the balance of the lease term. Whether it's worthwhile to do depends on how much is at stake and also whether you think she has the income or assets (i.e. money) to a pay a judgment against her--after all, if she has little or nothing, even if you win, you can't collect.


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