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Co-tenants and Leases

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  • Co-tenants and Leases

    Back in November 2012 I signed a lease with my former best friend and her fiance. My fiance also lived with us; however, since he was under the age of 18 he did not have to sign the lease but the leasing office said it was fine. The first few months my fiance paid for a lot of the food and I bought all of our dishes, curtains, towels, and other home goods. Meanwhile, my roommates paid for nothing. I did not have a problem fronting the bills too much because I let them know everything I paid for I was taking when we separated at the end of our lease. However, four months ago my roommate lost her job and her fiance has been "covering" her rent ever since. In addition, they have asked for gas money, rides to places, food, and other things like that on numerous occasions. It has now gotten to the point where they have been stealing my laundry soap, broke my TV and won't even admit to it, talking negatively about me at our workplace (we work together) and most recently bragging about owing me money! They are disrespectful, they never clean up after themselves. They left moldy towels in the bathroom for two months because her fiance attempted to clean up the drain he unclogged- which she clogged because she decided to pour wax in it! They continuously short my money and are late to give me money for no reason. They have the money- just won't pay it! They expect me to pay the late fees and I just couldn't take it anymore. Right now I've moved in with my parents because I don't know what else to do. They also have a dog living there that they don't pay the fee for. The apartments don't even know they have a dog. And last time I went over there to grab some things like shampoo and toothpaste to take to my parents he chased me out of the apartments, shouting "Get the **** out! Get out now! I'm going to call the cops if you don't leave in the next five seconds." I'm not really sure what I can do legally? Should I sue? Get and arbitrator? Small claims? If anyone knows any information please help me; I need to get out of this mess.

  • #2
    Re: Co-tenants and Leases

    It appears to be a real mess. For you are on and liable for the lease you signed, presumably a year lease that does not end until the end of October this year. If they do not pay the rent when due, the apartment owner can come after you and most likely will.

    The dog situation is a breach of the lease for which the landlord might just give them an eviction notice, especially in light of the damage you claim they are doing to the place.

    They have constructively evicted you and the best I can see is having them hold you harmless from any further financial obligation under the lease.

    My recommendation is that you take your lease and whatever evidence you have of their conduct to a real estate attorney to see what you can do to avoid further liability under the lease. As to what they owe you for property they broke, their share of expenses they did not cover, that is appropriate for small claims court. But my first concern is any liability you might have under that lease you signed for customarily there is language that the landlord can hold the tenants "jointly and severally" liable -- meaning he can go after both or either of them.

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    • #3
      I have been paying their rent for a while I'm just concerned with having to continue to pay. I haven't much proof that theh didn't pay me in full other than my word and the fiance is a manipulative liar so I'm worried he'll just say I can't prove it but I have a friend from work.who is willing to testify against him. And I have threatening emails and texts from him as well. But I don't really want to goto court I kind of just want to make him let me sign off the lease so I can get a smaller apartment me and my fiance can afford without roommates. I was really wondering if an arbitrator could help make that agreement and it would clear them of the debt they owe me.
      Originally posted by Friend In Court View Post
      It appears to be a real mess. For you are on and liable for the lease you signed, presumably a year lease that does not end until the end of October this year. If they do not pay the rent when due, the apartment owner can come after you and most likely will.

      The dog situation is a breach of the lease for which the landlord might just give them an eviction notice, especially in light of the damage you claim they are doing to the place.

      They have constructively evicted you and the best I can see is having them hold you harmless from any further financial obligation under the lease.

      My recommendation is that you take your lease and whatever evidence you have of their conduct to a real estate attorney to see what you can do to avoid further liability under the lease. As to what they owe you for property they broke, their share of expenses they did not cover, that is appropriate for small claims court. But my first concern is any liability you might have under that lease you signed for customarily there is language that the landlord can hold the tenants "jointly and severally" liable -- meaning he can go after both or either of them.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Co-tenants and Leases

        If the ex roommate is unable to pay the lease, regardless of any agreement you have with him, the landlord can still hold you liable.

        You made yourself a patsy for these people while you lived with them and as a practical matter, leave yourself open to become a patsty big time if you get stuck with the rest of the lease.

        Quit trying to 'make nice' with these people and protect yourself is my advice. By the way, you will pay by the hour for an arbitrator and there is no guarantee you will get the results you want, much less restitution for the damages.

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        • #5
          Re: Co-tenants and Leases

          It seems you need to discuss the issue with the landlord. Explain how you have been constructively evicted. Request he evict both of them for violating the lease and advise him you will then move back in, to finish the term.
          Due to a recent promotion, I should now be referred to as Major Obvious.

          I would not be trying to provide information and knowledge if I did not sympathize.

          Some days it is just not worth chewing through the restraints to face life.

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