Two people sign a contract with a small town to rent property for an animal rescue. In the contract they agree to provide liability insurance for the property. Are both of them responsible for paying the insurance premiums, or can one get out of paying?

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Two people sign a contract with a small town to rent property for an animal rescue. In the contract they agree to provide liability insurance for the property. Are both of them responsible for paying the insurance premiums, or can one get out of paying?

Two of us rented an unused dog pound facility from our town for the purpose of starting a dog rescue. In the contract we signed, it was stated that we had to provide liability insurance on the property. I acquired the insurance because the other person said she didn’t know how to go about it. In Dec. 2016 I paid the first quarter premium. The other person did not pay her half, she said she didn’t have the money. I paid the next quarter premium in March 2017, the other person said she would get paid the following week and would reimburse me for her half. She never paid me. In June 2017 I told her I didn’t have the money, she would have to pay it. She claimed she didn’t have the money and the insurance was cancelled. This violated our contract with the town. Since then the contract has been cancelled and the rescue must be closed by June 3, 2017 Is it possible for me to take her to court and get her to pay me back her half of the insurance premiums? Her half amounts to 239.50

Asked on August 18, 2017 under Business Law, Oklahoma

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

When you both sign a contract to provide something, if one of you pays but the other does not, the one who pays can sue under that contract for the other person's share, since you are both liable for the amount--i.e. there is no legal reason why one person would foot the entire cost. Furthermore, if there was an agreement between the two of you, even an oral (unwritten) one, that you would advance the full amount but she would pay or reimburse her share and she does not, you can sue her for the money based on "breach of contract"--for violating her agreement to pay. Therefore, yes, you could sue (such as in small claims court, on a "pro se" or as your own attorney, basis, to save legal fees) to recover the money.


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