karlin29November 29, 2005

Hello... I have a question about what to do about making a roommate pay for rent after breaking the lease... Ok that sounds really confusing! Let me explain. I live in a house with three other roommates. One of our roommates had two rabbits. I asked her to get rid of them because I was allergic. She did not want to do that. Therefore, she went and signed another lease with out us knowing that she was leaving and then gave us only about a week and a half notice before she left. Before she left, she asked us for her deposit back.

Now... we are trying to find a new roommate but we are in college and for us to find a new roommate is going to be hard with Winter Break coming up and the semester ending. We want to take our roomamte to small claims but don't know if it would do us any good. We still have six months on our lease and we feel that she should pay that money unless we are able to find ab new roommate. The only thing is only one of us signed the lease. She never signed it. Did we kind of screw ourselves over there or would we be ok? A lease can be a oral agreement and we could prove that she had agreed to the lease.

If anyone could get back to me I would appreciate it!!! Any legal advice would be great too!!!! THanks a bunch!!!!

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She didn't sign a lease that said she couldn't have rabbits or had to stay if she felt like leaving. Another person didn't sign anything so legally tomorrow that person can say she is moving out to live with her boyfriend.

Life lesson, get everything on paper and signed to protect your own tail.

    Bookmark   November 29, 2005 at 10:26PM
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"The only thing is only one of us signed the lease"

Whoever that is, is legally STUCK even if all the others move out. Keep her "deposit", and consider this ot be lessons learned. GET WRITTEN LEASES from everyone.

"A lease can be a oral agreement and we could prove that she had agreed to the lease."
You could try to take her to small claims court for the money, but at best you get a court order, not money.

    Bookmark   December 1, 2005 at 8:59AM
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When she paid her share of the rent, was it by check, did it state in the memo slot that is was for her rent? Do you have anything, even e-mail that said that she was willing to share responsibility? Has she made her requests for deposit in writting? (and if she did, did she say anything about breaking her contract with you?)

I agree with the others, you are sort of stuck. Keep the deposit, go to small claims, especially if you have anything other than oral promises to pay rent for the year.


    Bookmark   December 1, 2005 at 5:32PM
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One thing you didn't mention and I think it's important, did she have the rabbits when she moved in? Or did she bring them in after she moved in, without consulting anyone?

Without a written lease she would be considered a month-to-month tenant, meaning she can leave at any time. Unless she signed a 1 year lease stating no pets, then honestly, you're out of luck.

    Bookmark   December 1, 2005 at 6:44PM
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For now, perhaps you should be putting all your efforts into recruiting a replacement roomie as soon as possible--you may never get another dollar from the rabbit-lover and you need to find someone to make up the rent shortfall.

    Bookmark   December 6, 2005 at 9:07PM
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