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  1. #1

    Default Roommate Won't Pay Rent Or Bills

    I work for the company that owns my apartment. A friend of mine wanted to get a 2 bedroom apartment. She ended up moving in with me at my old apartment for a month. (she never paid any rent, for any bills for food). She also stored a lot of things at my dads and told him she would pay him (she never did) I paid $350 to the movers, who moved both of our stuff. They had to stop at my dads and get more of her stuff and charged hourly. She said shed pay for half, she never did. We moved in. I came to work on Thursday and was told that If I didnt pay my rent I would be terminated, because they were closing the books and any employee that owed money was fired. Well I had paid my rent. I called my roommate and told her she needed to pay rent or I would loose my job. She said she was busy and hung up. She did not take any of my calls. My mother ended up writing a check for Debbies end of the rent so I would not loose my job. When I came home that night she had packed up all of her things. I called her and told her she needed to pay my mother back. She said she didnt have to. That she never had gotten around to signing the lease, and that she wasnt responsible for any money. She had filled out her application. Both of our names was on the lease, she just never signed it. She forwarded her mail there and lived there. She refuses to pay for any bills (we owe water, trash, electricity and for washer and dryer, in which she did laundry) She says she does not have to pay my mother back or for anything in the apartment. Morally that is very very wrong, is it legally wrong? Can I take her to small claims court to get rent, bill, storage, and moving money? I have many people who can vouch that she said shed pay my dad for storage and shed pay for half the movers. Please help me. I want to just move on, but this is very wrong of her and she needs to learn that you cant walk all over people and get away with it. Please help me!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
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    Practicing in Los Angeles, California
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    Default Re: Roommate Won't Pay Rent Or Bills

    Quote Quoting UNTsweetie22

    Can I take her to small claims court to get rent, bill, storage, and moving money?

    My response:

    You have my permission to sue her.


    IAAL

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Roommate Won't Pay Rent Or Bills

    Check with your landlord, but if she didn't sign the lease (and she has not yet moved out on her own) your landlord may well view you as the sole tenant with the right to evict her. As you've noted, you can take her to small claims court to recover what she owes to you. (You can't ordinarily sue to make her repay your mother. That's your mother's claim.)

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
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    310

    Default Re: Roommate Won't Pay Rent Or Bills

    Quote Quoting Mr. Knowitall
    Check with your landlord, but if she didn't sign the lease (and she has not yet moved out on her own) your landlord may well view you as the sole tenant with the right to evict her. As you've noted, you can take her to small claims court to recover what she owes to you. (You can't ordinarily sue to make her repay your mother. That's your mother's claim.)
    Mr. Knowtall's answer is problematic. Your friend owes you for her share of the moving expenses and her share of the rent and utilities on both apartments under the theories of justifiable reliance and unjust enrichment since you had not agreed to gift this amounts. Your mom has no standing to sue your friend as your mom and friend have no relationship of any kind to each other. The law would look at as your mother having given or loaned YOU the money to pay the rent, which reflects the physical act.

    I assume from your response that your friend moved in, especially since her belongings are there. While your friend may not have signed the lease, the two of you were co-applicants, and if your friend moved in, then she accepted the lease by her conduct. A judge may also see it as you having accepted the lease for both of you since the offer was for the both of you, and your friend never recinded or withdrew her application. But since your friend doesn't seem to have any interest in the lease, then for practicle purposes, it only matters how your landlord/employer views things.

    I would talk to your landlord/employer about replacing your roommate. Certainly you can sue your friend, What a friend?, for breach of contract, since the two of you had an agreement or contract amongst yourselves, and there are quasi-contract (court imposed) remedies to help you as well. In the process I would think that you could have your friend evicted, but in the eyes of your landlord/employer, that may be a breach of the lease causing you trouble. So if your landlord/employer is willing to accept a substitute, or a new lease for the balance of the old one with a new roomate, you may be in good shape. If your landlord/employer considers you to be the sole tenant, you would probably still have to evict your roommate, but that it wouldn't affect your lease with your landlord/employer.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Roommate Won't Pay Rent Or Bills

    Can you please identify the law which will automatically transform a loan from one person to a loan from another? Have you ever seen what happens when somebody goes to court and argues to a magistrate, "I want this person to repay me the money my mom loaned them"? (A rhetorical question, obviously, given your answer.) Perhaps you wish to describe the process of assignment of debts under the laws of... every state, as you don't even know what state's laws are involved... so your comment would actually be meaningful.

    You state that how her landlord views things is important. Which is why you're disagreeing with what I said - that she should ask her landlord/employer how he views things?

    I want to give you the benefit of the doubt, but when you make a comment like that followed by a misleading answer it looks to me like you're trying to pick a fight.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
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    310

    Default Re: Roommate Won't Pay Rent Or Bills

    Quote Quoting Mr. Knowitall
    Can you please identify the law which will automatically transform a loan from one person to a loan from another?
    Perhaps you didn't read it right. Mom has NO relationship with the friend. So the mom could not have loaned the friend any money. The mom's motives were to help out the daughter, NOT the friend. Conversely, the friend did not ask for or accept a loan from the mother, so there is no obligation to pay the mother back. Just because the daughter "feels" that the friend owes the mother money, or morally the friend owes the mother, legally that is NOT the case. And since this is a "legal" forum, and we are talking about the law, your response was incorrect.

    Quote Quoting Mr. Knowitall
    Have you ever seen what happens when somebody goes to court and argues to a magistrate, "I want this person to repay me the money my mom loaned them"?
    Exactly. This person owes ME the money.

    Quote Quoting Mr. Knowitall
    Perhaps you wish to describe the process of assignment of debts under the laws of... every state, as you don't even know what state's laws are involved... so your comment would actually be meaningful.
    Perhaps you would like to be LESS argumentative and think more in terms of the law "so your comment would actually be meaningful."

    Quote Quoting Mr. Knowitall
    You state that how her landlord views things is important. Which is why you're disagreeing with what I said - that she should ask her landlord/employer how he views things?
    IMO, in my opinion, the friend isn't going to sue for breach of contract. If the OP takes some action that the landlord/employer considers a breach, then legal action is likely to be taken. If the OP and her landlord/employer can come to some agreement, then legal action may be avoided. Lawsuits are nearly always the answer, but aren't always the best solution. But they are almost always the last resort when a dispute can't be reolved among the parties.

    Quote Quoting Mr. Knowitall
    I want to give you the benefit of the doubt, but when you make a comment like that followed by a misleading answer it looks to me like you're trying to pick a fight.
    DON'T bother giving me the lipservice that you are giving me the benefit of the doubt, because in reality you haven't!!! You have a chip on your shoulder!!! It is a rather simple and fundamental legal fact that you have to have a legal relationship between two parties to have a contract. Often times the contract defines that relationship. So you can't be liable for monies borrowed if you didn't agree to repay. It is also pretty fundamental that you can't have a dispute if the parties are in agreement, and the parties can't agree unil they communicate. The fact that you lost sight of the fundamentals is NOT my fault. I didn't attack or provoke you in any way. So if being shown that you are wrong bothers you, direct your upset feelings where they belong, at yourself.

    And then we have the thread regarding the non-custodial parent visiting the child during daycare hours. Now, IAAL and rmets can't stand to be wrong, it's an ego thing. But the final responses of Litigator and aaron on the subject, while they didn't comment on who was right or wrong, clearly indicated that the only thing that was necessary was a signed paper from the custodial parent to prevent the non-custodial parent from visiting the child in daycare, while the rest of you insisted or opined that there had to be an order prohibiting such visitation, which fails in that the non-custodial parent only gets what rights and privileges that the court order provides, not all the rights and privileges not specifically prohibited. Then you came along and made the shot or made the dig that the score was actually 5:1, instead of 3:2; the five being you, IAAL, aaron, Litigator and rmets. So maybe you have an adversarial frame of mind towards me, or maybe I have a legitimate adversarial frame of mind towards you. Or both. But keep in mind, I would have used stronger language than stating that your answer is problematic if I was trying to start something. I suggest that your answer needs correction and that you need to do some self-reflection.

  7. #7
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Roommate Won't Pay Rent Or Bills

    You know, you two can fight all you want - but you should either do it by email or in a different forum. Your argument does not belong in this thread. Thanks.

    If you wish to complain about forum administration, try the administrative issues forum. If you wish to try to dredge up past discussions, try banter.

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