What to do if my roommate, whose name is on the lease, moved out without notice on the 30th of this month and is refusing to pay next month’s rent?

UPDATED: Dec 30, 2012

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What to do if my roommate, whose name is on the lease, moved out without notice on the 30th of this month and is refusing to pay next month’s rent?

The lease requires a written 30-day notice and there’s a clause that reads: It is expressly understood that the agreement is between the Landlord and each Tenant. Each Tenant is individually responsible for performance of this Lease and liable for all payment of the rent. It is expressly understood that if the Tenant fails to perform any of the promises or covenants to be performed, Landlord may enforce their rights. If we don’t cover the ex roommate’s rent next month, will the landlord be able to hold us all accountable?

Asked on December 30, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Colorado


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

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

The fact is that you are still required to cover the full amount of the rent. When you signed the lease you became legally responsible for it. This is known as "joint and several liability". Unfortunately, this means that if one tenant doesn't pay their share of then rent then the other tenant(s) is liable for it.

However, you can take this ex-roommate to court and sue for any money that you may be out-of-pocket on their behalf. If you win, you will be awarded a judgment. You could then have the notation of the judgment placed on their credit report, as well as being able to get a garnishment against their wages, etc. Why don't you inform them of this and see if that prompts them to come up with their share of the rent.


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