What to do if my roommate recently moved out and broke the year lease and left me with all the rent coming up?

UPDATED: Dec 31, 2012

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What to do if my roommate recently moved out and broke the year lease and left me with all the rent coming up?

Is there any way he can get into trouble for breaking it and have to pay?

Asked on December 31, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Missouri


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

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

A lease is a contract. And your roommate is bound by it just the same as you. Accordingly, you can sue your roommate in small claims court for any amounts the you must pay on their behalf. Unfotunately, you are still required to cover the full amount of the rent. When you signed the lease, as tenants you all became legally responsible for it. This is known as "joint and several liability" and means that if one tenant doesn't pay their share the rent than the other tenant is liable for it.

You should be aware that if you go to court and win, you will be granted a judgment against this roommate. Consequently, a notation of the judgement could be placed on their credit report. So why don't you inform them of this and see if that prompts them to come up with some money. In the meantime, you'llcontinue to pay the full rent when due (t least until you get another roommate), otherwise you face eviction and liability for any rent remaing under the lease.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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