AmI responsible for a balance that my roommate owes to my landlord for past due rent?

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AmI responsible for a balance that my roommate owes to my landlord for past due rent?

My roommate left with a huge back rent balance; we are both on the lease. The landlord wants me to pay. Is this my obligation? We both paid our share directly to landlord every month. He sent me a spreadsheet with the balance owed.

Asked on October 29, 2011 under Real Estate Law, California

Answers:

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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Unfortunately you are still required to cover the full amount of the rent.  When you signed the lease both of you became legally responsible for it. This is known as "joint and several liability". This means that if 1 tenant doesn't pay their share of then rent then the other tenant is liable for it. 

That having been said, you can take her to court and sue for any money that out-of-pocket on her behalf. If you win, you will be granted a judgment. You could then have the notation of the judgement placed on her credit report.  Why don't you inform her of this and see if that prompts her to come up with some rent money.


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