Roommate not on lease failed to pay rent. Collateral?




I had an apartment where I was the only person on the lease. I allowed a "friend" to take my second bedroom after he got himself evicted from next door. The last month of my lease, he promised to pay rent, but never did ($500). He also failed to pay his half of the utilities for two months ($300). The Friday before we had to move out, he left town for a family party. He said his parents were going to send the money, but never did. I turned in the keys on the final day and ended the lease after being told that he will not be returning until the day after the lease was to end. I cleared out my apartment and took everything I could take with me. He then proceeded to accuse me of stealing all of his property. Am I within my legal rights to take collateral when I was told I could and then he told the Police he never said that?

This man also had a serious issue with civil harassment towards myself and my girlfriend, in which I have proof in form of texts and phone calls where he threatened my life a few times, and degraded me on a regular basis for months.

Honestly, I've wanted to press charges but I do not know what all I should do! I've been doing research online and have some ideas, but he is relentless with his threats and still has not paid me.

Thank you!
You probably really shouldn't have taken his things. It would be best if you tried suing him in small claims court for what he owes you. Of course; if you win, you still need to collect on the judgment. I'm not sure why you would let him stay with you knowing his history.
Taking the stuff of tenant is NEVER allowed.
By taking the deadbeat's stuff, especially a VIOLENT, VINDICTIVE, ABUSIVE, AGGRESSIVE deadbeat's stuff puts the deadbeat in the legal powerseat. He can sue you for using his stuff as collateral.

That isn't allowed under your state's rental laws.

In PA, for example, it is allowed.
It allows landlords to take the property of the tenant by distress.

Your state, CA, doesn't allow such a remedy.

Read and enlighten yourself:

California Tenants - California Department of Consumer Affairs