Roommate lost his job.

gosaabyourselfMarch 5, 2009

So I think I am pretty screwed here. My idiot of a roommate ended up getting himself fired yesterday. As we stand right now, I can keep paying my half of the rent, he can afford two months. Chances of him finding another job are pretty slim to these days, he may be lucky to find something small but probably nothing that will be able to cover his half of the rent. I recently bought a new car which puts me in no position to be able to cover him at all. So basically, what are my options? Am I going to have to break the lease and find a way to pay the huge fine that comes with it? Im from colorado, heard that if I get evicted that they cannot charge me that fine, is that true? .....anyone here want to buy a new car? :\

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dilly_dally

Is this a "roommate" or someone you have a relationship with? Why would you feel you have to 'cover him' and pay his rent?

Is his name on the lease? Can you just ask him to move out and find yourself a new roommate? If you decide to break your lease and move, it will be expensive to do so, and you will still have to find another place to live, which may not be any cheaper.

You say he can afford the next two months rent. There is a good chance that if he is focused and diligent, he will find another job. You may be "jumping the gun" on this. Or maybe you know he is a slacker and you want to nip the problem in the bud and make your exit plan now. Foresight is a good thing. Sit your roommate down and have a talk to see what his plans are and if they are realistic. If there is going to be a problem then talk to your landlord and see if they are amicable to breaking the lease. If the place can be rented with no gap, you may not be out any money if the place is also left clean, and in good condition. Re-read your lease for any clauses regarding early termination.

The best be might be to just find a new roommate though.

I never heard of having to 'pay a fine' when a lease is broken. I know of know such law anywhere.

"Im from colorado, heard that...."

What you have to do is research the facts. You have access to the Internet obviously, so you need to look up tenant/landlord laws for your community. Also see if there are any tenants rights groups in your area to get advice from.

Here is a link that might be useful: Sampling of Rental Laws CO

    Bookmark   March 6, 2009 at 2:41AM
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keithflaherty

Its not a fine but there is some kind of penalty to break the lease. You could always try working with the landlord and tell him you have to move back to CO for emergency reasons.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2009 at 3:13AM
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runsnwalken

Yep talk to the LL about this.

Maybe he'll boot him out and you can get a new room mate

    Bookmark   March 7, 2009 at 11:28AM
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taku

Agree with D_D, is the roommate even on the lease? If not, legally the roommate could simply pack up and leave without owing a dime. Might want to do the craigslist thing - like now, and see if you can get a roommate (might want to check with the LL to make sure he / she is cool with that, if you don't have such a clause in your contract that prohibits subletting) and sell that car quickly. I'm pretty sure you'll have to take out a small loan for the difference you owe on the car verses what you'll bring in for it so you can release the title free and clear to the new owner (so be prepared for that contingency plan - unless you've already got the cash in the bank for the difference).

Can't speak about Colorado's tenant laws, but generally speaking you'll loose your deposit, and you are liable for rent (till a new tenant moves in) during your contract with the LL. Not sure if that's what you meant by any fines you'll have to pay if you break the lease.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2009 at 9:37AM
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runsnwalken

I may not know alot about Apartments, but I hope you get everything straitened out.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2009 at 7:33PM
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advocate-tenant

Lots of misinformation here...

Need the facts first, and a clear look at the lease...

Is the "roommate" a SIGNED tenant on the lease, or is he a friend you let stay?

If he is a SIGNED leasee, he is responsible for %50 of the rent REGARDLESS of job status. He will be required to provide the rent monies owed on the date they are due. If he fails to do so, you can pursue him for the monies owed PLUS any late fees associated with paying rent late. If in fact you ARE evicted, you can sue him for ALL COSTS associated with the eviction. But for the fact of him not paying rent, you would not have been evicted. You can also tack on all the break-lease fees, and any other costs associated with it. Of course you will need to provide evidence of all this, so keep ALL communications.

If he is NOT on the lease, than he is YOUR tenant, and YOU are his landlord. Your state automatically creates a month-to-month lease to protect both the LL and the tenant. It does NOT matter if there is a no-subletting clause in your lease. That would be between YOU and YOUR LL, which is the management company. They in turn could evict YOU for violating the terms of your lease.

You also need to see if there is a "joint and severable" clause in your lease. This means BOTH signed parties are %100 liable for the FULL amount of the lease. So if one fails to pay, the other is liable for the lease.

DO NOT enter in verbal agreements! They are worth the paper they are written on, and can be denied. IF you must agree on a payment schedule, GET IT IN WRITING!

    Bookmark   March 17, 2009 at 5:04PM
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nette35

use the two months that he can afford to pay rent to find a new roommate makes the most sense

    Bookmark   April 7, 2009 at 4:08AM
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