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Sublettor/Roommate owes money

Discussion in 'Rental Agreements & Subleases' started by QueenofCups, Dec 8, 2016.

  1. QueenofCups

    QueenofCups Law Topic Starter Guest

    Jurisdiction:
    New York
    I rent an apartment in NYC. One year ago, the spare room was empty and I needed help paying rent, so when a friend asked to move in, I drafted a written fixed-term sublease specifying security deposit, monthly rent, and late fees. He signed this and moved in a suitcase, but as soon as the rent came due, he had two family members die within two months, kept making excuses, and pretty much disappeared. The sublease included a clause for his responsibility to pay rent despite failure to take possession of the premises. The landlord has given permission for me to have roommates and the responsibility thereof.

    The roommate paid for half of the 1st month and $0 for the 2nd & 3rd months, after which we agreed via email that his tenancy would terminate at the end of that 3rd month. Not including late fees, he owes me just over $2,000.

    It would be very helpful to recover the rent he agreed to pay. I do not know where he is currently living or working. I am quite unfamiliar with small claims court and am so thankful for any assistance or suggestions that you might be able to provide. What do you think might be possible in recovering this back-rent?
     
  2. ElleMD

    ElleMD Well-Known Member

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  3. QueenofCups

    QueenofCups New Member

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    Thanks for your reply, ElleMD! I have found his father's address, where he was living until recently. Do you think this is helpful?
     
  4. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    The immediate problem will be serving him, or having him served.
    His father's address is useless, unless he lives there.

    Let's forget proper service for the moment.
    For discussion purposes, let's stipulate you properly served him.
    Furthermore, he failed to show up for the trial.
    You receive a default judgment awarding you $5,000.
    Let's say you "perfected" the judgment.
    Looking good for you, right?
    Yes, if you were trying to collect from a normal person, and not a deadbeat roach.
    These human roaches scurry about.
    They have no job, nor do they have a permanent address.
    Finally, as if that weren't enough, they have no assets.
    After all that work, you'll never collect a dime of your $5,000.
    You, of course are free to pursue to this to the final step.
    Thereupon, you'll run into, what I call "collection collapse".
    These deadbeat human roaches have nothing, except the latest crumbs they've foraged from unsuspecting, decent human beings!
     

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