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Deadbeat roommate Roomate

Discussion in 'Other Residential Landlord & Tenant Issues' started by lizmn, Dec 14, 2013.

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  1. lizmn

    lizmn Law Topic Starter New Member

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    My son and his buddy rented an apartment together almost a year ago. My son has been paying his share of the rent all along, but his roommate lost his job, and has not for a while. I'm not sure if they each gave management separate checks, or my son wrote one check to cover both, or what. Anyway, now the apartment management company is taking them to court for non payment, with possibility of eviction. The company lawyer has told them hat they are willing to work with them since their lease is up soon anyway. My question is: can my son separate himself somehow from his deadbeat former friend, and not be liable for his debts, and not have his credit rating, and apartment references affected? This is his first apartment, he just got out of the military (decorated combat veteran) and is learning a lot the hard way.

    Thanks for any help or advice you can give me!
     
  2. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    No adult should ever rent an apartment with a roommate.
    I hope he doesn't do this again.
    Making a deal, get it in writing and signed, is their bets bet.
    I'm afraid your son will get screwed one way or another.

    His quickest bet is to make a deal, pay this off, move out.

    Then he can sue the deadbeat in small claims, or forget about it.

    Advise him never to rent with a roommate, too many issues.

    Heck, 50% of marriages fail, so roomie situations go south, too.

    Drop that decorated combat veteran stuff, I'm one, and never mention it.

    Sure, you're proud of him, as you should be.

    But, that doesn't affect how he should be treated in most of life's situations.

    Those who care, know.

    Most don't want to know.
     
  3. lizmn

    lizmn Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Thanks, army judge - yes, I am very proud of him, but I will drop the decoration stuff. Few care... I was thinking of getting him to pay everything associated (if he can, not sure how much is involved) then taking the roomie to small claims court. I am concerned about how enforceable (if that is a word) a small claims court judgement is.

    Unfortunately, in our neck of the woods, the only way for a young person on a limited income (GI Bill in son's case) to live on their own, is with a roommate. Prices are very high around here, and there aren't many jobs to supplement his income.
     
  4. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    He could also live with his proud mother, no???

    He sounds like a fine, young man.

    Okay, back to your question.

    Yes, he can sue in small claims based upon their written lease.

    The problem with small claims is that you have to enforce your judgment, assuming you prevail.

    Fewer than 10-20% of prevailing small claim litigants ever see a dime of their judgments.

    Face it, his rommie is/was a deadbeat.

    Its very likely his next roomie will do the same thing.

    We see questions like yours all the time.

    So, have him come live with you until he can live alone.

    That way, he can help around your home, you know he's safe, and he can save up for his own place.

    If he gets another roomie, this will just repeat itself, sooner or later.

    Or, live in the dorms on campus.

    Or, rent a cheap, but clan hotel room by the week.
     
  5. Betty3

    Betty3 Super Moderator

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    Agree that he might want to (if at all possible) pay off the debt owed (make a deal) & move out. He can sue the roommate for the portion of rent he didn't pay & should have but the problem is even if you win a judgment, it is up to you to collect on it. Many times the person has nothing or very little income/assets to collect from.

    Good luck to your son.
     

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