When evidence do I need to sue a 3rd roommate who is not on the lease and owes me money?

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When evidence do I need to sue a 3rd roommate who is not on the lease and owes me money?

A 3rd person moved in with my roommate and I. When he did he had no job and no money so we covered rent and bills for him for 2 months until he got a job. He then lost the job and then continued to lose jobs. He has has missed rent 5 times at $205 each and has never paid for internet or water bills and has payed electricity 3 times. He right now is in $1000 in debt to me. What evidence do I need to sue and get my money back?

Asked on November 8, 2011 under Bankruptcy Law, Kansas

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

First and foremost, you need to prove the existence and the terms of the agreement under which you sublet to him (that's what you were doing, if your roommate and you were on the lease, but you then allowed him to move in, in exchange for rent and/or utilities--you were subletting part of your apartment to him). This can be an oral (or verbal) lease (though for future reference: written ones are much better), but if it is oral, you'd need to be able to prove what it said--that is, you and your roomate will need to testify as to its term.

You'll also need to testify to the amount not paid and have a good accounting of it.

Then the 3rd roommate, assuming he's raising a defense, will be able to try to testify either  that the arrangement was different (e.g. you were letting him live there for free, or for less) and/or that he paid you the money (which he can try to show with money order receipts, cancelled checks, etc.).

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

First and foremost, you need to prove the existence and the terms of the agreement under which you sublet to him (that's what you were doing, if your roommate and you were on the lease, but you then allowed him to move in, in exchange for rent and/or utilities--you were subletting part of your apartment to him). This can be an oral (or verbal) lease (though for future reference: written ones are much better), but if it is oral, you'd need to be able to prove what it said--that is, you and your roomate will need to testify as to its term.

You'll also need to testify to the amount not paid and have a good accounting of it.

Then the 3rd roommate, assuming he's raising a defense, will be able to try to testify either  that the arrangement was different (e.g. you were letting him live there for free, or for less) and/or that he paid you the money (which he can try to show with money order receipts, cancelled checks, etc.).


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