If my roommate’s girlfriend is living in our apartment and is not on the lease, is she required to pay me a portion of the rent?

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If my roommate’s girlfriend is living in our apartment and is not on the lease, is she required to pay me a portion of the rent?

They don’t feel that she should have to pay rent because she’s not on the lease but our lease states that guests staying more than 7 consecutive days are considered tenants. At the end of the lease period, the deposit will be written to me because I wrote the check for the full amount in the beginning. My roommate gave me his half of the deposit. Can I keep the portion of his deposit to cover his girlfriend’s share of the rent which I had to pay?

Asked on December 29, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Iowa

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

It is good that you have read the written lease for the unit that you are renting in that its terms and conditions control the obligations owed to you by the landlord, the roommates to each other and the tenants to the landlord in the absence of conflicitng state law.

From what you have written, it seems that if your roommate's girlfriend is now living at the rental on a full time basis, she is now a tenant where her share of the entire monthly rent is one-third (assuming that it is her, your roommate and you).

I would take the position that under the written lease your monthly share is reduced to one third of the unit's costs so long as the girlfriend is living in the unit beyond seven consecutive days.

As to keeping your roommate's security deposit, I would not do that in that a security deposit is entirely different than monthly rental for a unit.


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