If we owe money to a past landlord but I only want to pay my half, how do I go about it?

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If we owe money to a past landlord but I only want to pay my half, how do I go about it?

My ex-boyfriend and I signed a lease on an apartment together a couple years ago. We were never late with the rent or had any issues with neighbors, manager, etc. Since this was our 1st apartment ever, we didn’t know we had to give a written 60 day notice, tho we did give a verbal one and were told that it was fine to move at the end of our lease. We did. Now I am trying to get a new apartment and the old one is saying I owe 2 months rent plus “other” fees, kept my deposit, and is giving me a bad referral. I am willing to pay my half of this to get it off my credit report. I shouldn’t be responsible for his part though should I? I am being told I have to pay it all if I want it corrected. How is this fair and why is he not held accountable for his half? How do I go about fixing this?

Asked on December 28, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Minnesota

Answers:

MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

You signed an agreement with the landlord and while your names are listed on the lease as two people, you are each jointly and severally liable for the monies. This simply means you are responsible for the whole amount as is he. If you want to clear it up, you pay the whole amount and then sue him for his half. As to the 60 days notice, you do need to give it in writing, otherwise your lease may be automatically renewed. This means you would held liable for the rent up until the time the landlord was able to relet the premises since the landlord had to mitigate his damages. As to your security deposit, that could be used to offset the amount of rent owed but your landlord is required to give you a list of costs, repairs and the receripts for those repairs. This is usually supposed to be given to you within a certain amount of time and if he didn't do so, he may be actually liable to you.


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