If my roommate is violating our lease and I turn her in to the leasing office, will I be responsible for the fine as well?

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If my roommate is violating our lease and I turn her in to the leasing office, will I be responsible for the fine as well?

I live in an apartment with a roommate who is violating the lease by letting her friend live there (they are not on the lease). This person will not leave. If I report her to the leasing office am I responsible for the fee as well which could be around $2,000?

Asked on May 24, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Virginia

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Yes, you could possibly be responsible, depending on how the lease is written.  Generally speaking tenants listed together on the lease are what is known as "jointly and severally liable" under the lease agreement.  Meaning that if one of you violates the lease or defaults on the agreement the landlord can come after either of you for the appropriate relief.  Penalties included.  Now I must say that this penalty sounds a bit harsh and possibly against public policy.  I would speak with someone who could read the lease for you and let you know the law in your area.  It may be cheaper than half of the $2,000.00.  Good luck.


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