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Non payment of rent; We are in the process of legal separation

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  • Non payment of rent; We are in the process of legal separation

    I live in a rented house with my husband and children in New York State. We have no lease and all communication had been between my husband and landlord. I found out that the rent is a few months behind. My husband lost his job and we are in the process of legal separation, can the landlord come after me for the rent? We are still living in the house and I am looking to move out with the kids. What is my liability?

  • #2
    re: Non payment of rent; We are in the process of legal separation

    Originally posted by Nytenant View Post
    I live in a rented house with my husband and children in New York State. We have no lease and all communication had been between my husband and landlord. I found out that the rent is a few months behind. My husband lost his job and we are in the process of legal separation, can the landlord come after me for the rent? We are still living in the house and I am looking to move out with the kids. What is my liability?
    Yes, as an occupant and spouse here, you CAN be held liable for the unpaid rent. You also share the responsibility for payment of that rent because you have the benefit of living there. That's one very important reason you should have been involved in the day-to-day business of paying the household bills. You can't simply shut your eyes and assume someone else is taking care of it.
    "If it ain't in writing, it never happened."
    "A lack of planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part."
    "You can never make the same mistake twice, because the second time you make it, it's not a mistake, but a CHOICE."

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    • #3
      Originally posted by sandyclaus View Post
      Yes, as an occupant and spouse here, you CAN be held liable for the unpaid rent. You also share the responsibility for payment of that rent because you have the benefit of living there. That's one very important reason you should have been involved in the day-to-day business of paying the household bills. You can't simply shut your eyes and assume someone else is taking care of it.
      Do I have any recourse to protect myself? Would hiring an attorney help or it doesn't matter I'm still responsible? Would I be responsible for the entire amount or can this be amount be split between me and my spouse?

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      • #4
        re: Non payment of rent; We are in the process of legal separation

        You will both be equally responsible. You appear to be more collectable.
        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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        • #5
          re: Non payment of rent; We are in the process of legal separation

          Originally posted by Nytenant View Post
          Do I have any recourse to protect myself? Would hiring an attorney help or it doesn't matter I'm still responsible? Would I be responsible for the entire amount or can this be amount be split between me and my spouse?
          You and your husband appear to be equally responsible for the unpaid rent, but the issue here is who they can collect from. If YOU are in the property, then they would be more likely to come after YOU for rent, since you have a vested interest in remaining in the home. The longer you remain there, the more likely they will come after you for it, or sue you (and your husband) to recover the lost rent.

          I would suggest that if you don't wish to remain wholly responsible for much longer, that you get moving and find another place for you and your children to live. Once you're gone, the LL can start looking for a replacement tenant to start making up the lost rent.
          "If it ain't in writing, it never happened."
          "A lack of planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part."
          "You can never make the same mistake twice, because the second time you make it, it's not a mistake, but a CHOICE."

          Comment


          • #6
            re: Non payment of rent; We are in the process of legal separation

            You are only in the process of Legal Separation and not separated. Also, you are still living together and so, as a marital community, both of you are equally liable for the unpaid rent. Even if you argue for exempting you from the liability, as you are in the process of Legal Separation, Courts are not likely to grant that request.

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