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  1. #11
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    Jan 2008
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    Default Re: Joint Lease - Cheating Girlfriend Refuses to Move Out

    There's got to be something I can do.
    There are only so many ways to say No. The answer, however, remains NO.

    As a tenant - and she is a tenant - she has the same rights of access that you do. She can use all the common areas as she pleases. She can come and go as she pleases. She can even bring her new boyfriend over if she wants to, and there is legally nothing you can do about it.

    So I just have to let her live there rent free, can't evict her, let her use all my things, let her have people over, run up the utility bills.... and my only recourse is to sue her at the end of the lease for a portion of the rent? And, if I move out and she refuses to leave and refuses to pay, I'm still liable to the landlord for all the rent for the remainder of the lease.
    In short, yes.

    In future roommate situations, you'd do well to enter into separate lease agreements, provided you find a landlord amenable to such arrangements.
    I'm not a lawyer, but I play a researcher on the internet!
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  2. #12

    Default Re: Joint Lease - Cheating Girlfriend Refuses to Move Out

    Turn off the utilities, I am solely paying for?
    If she sues you, she'll win. And likely be awarded court costs.

    Section off the apartment to a portion where she is not permitted?
    Your room, sure. You can't restrict her from common areas, kitchen, living room, etc.

    So I just have to let her live there rent free, can't evict her
    Can you show the court exactly what she agreed to pay you? If so, and she's in violation of that contract, sue her. The only person who can evict her is the landlord. But why would the landlord evict BOTH of you?

    All the furniture and everything in the apt is mine....let her use all my things,
    Take everything that's yours, and either move it out of the apartment, or stack it up in your bedroom behind locked doors so that only you have access to it. The couch. Dishes. Pots. Pans. Toilet paper. The TV. Salt and pepper. Laundry detergent. Towels. You're not required to allow her ANY access to YOUR stuff. So long as you're going to continue to provide it, why would she have any motivation other than to stay and continue to leech off of you? How often do you think her friends will want to come over if they have to sit on the floor and stare at an empty wall?


    let her have people over,
    Yep.

    run up the utility bills
    Sue her for whatever part of the agreement over utility bills she's violated.

    my only recourse is to sue her at the end of the lease for a portion of the rent?
    You could sue her each month, but the court would likely tire of that. What you can sue her FOR depends on what agreement you had with her. See how we keep coming around to that point?

    , if I move out and she refuses to leave and refuses to pay, I'm still liable to the landlord for all the rent for the remainder of the lease.
    That's why you've got to be REALLY careful about who you sign leases with, and get any details beyond that lease, such as expenses that will be split, or will be paid separately apart from rent to the landlord, IN WRITING. As it stands right now, she's paid you $900 twice - and if she tells the judge that you agreed to let her stay there for a flat, all-inclusive fee of $900 per month, you have no way to refute that. Ultimately the problem remains that she's on the lease WITH you. If she wasn't, you'd effectively be her landlord and without anything in writing, you could be seeking eviction quickly for non-payment to you. But here, the landlord has BOTH of you under contract, and the reality of landlords is that they go after the party most likely to pay, and are usually reluctant to cut loose their revenue source.

    It's gonna come down to either (a) living with it until the lease is up, or (b) saving your immediate sanity by skipping out and dealing with the fallout later (landlord suing you, you suing your ex, ex suing you, hits to your credit report) or (c) saving your credit report and sanity at the expense to your checkbook of paying the lease and living somewhere else, or (d) figuring out ways to make her WANT to leave that won't have you facing civil law suits (like shutting off utilities), restraining orders, harassment charges, or other unpleasantness, or (e)figuring out ways to make her want to STAY, with someone ELSE, who is willing to take over your spot on the lease (making the landlord bless the deal).
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  3. #13
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    Default Re: Joint Lease - Cheating Girlfriend Refuses to Move Out

    I would be going with option (c), but that's obviously a personal choice.
    An intelligent hell would be better than a stupid paradise - Victor Hugo

    Do not microwave grapes

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
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    Default Re: Joint Lease - Cheating Girlfriend Refuses to Move Out

    Ok. Here's the deal. We never entered into a written agreement regarding what she would pay in rent. In hindsight, we should have. But who at the time thinks that anything like this would ever happen and she would refuse to leave or pay rent after being caught cheating?

    We had some discussions but never put anything in writing. She said she would pay at least $900 as soon as the lease started because that is all she could afford. She then decided to stay in her own place until 3 months into the lease and never paid me any rent (she claimed she was not going to pay 2 rents, her place and the new lease); i was forced to then pay everything. She wrote the landlord asking to take her name off the lease but he never did.

    After 3 months she moved in, she orally agreed to split the utilities with me and pay a portion of rent. She only made 2 monthly payments of $900 (the last two months after she moved in) and never paid one penny for utilities/cable/etc (approx $300 per month) though she uses them all. In my viewpoint I never agreed to let her live there for an entire year paying only $900 a month.

    I continue to write timely rent checks for the full amount to the landlord and pay timely all the utilities that are all in my name. She has not paid any rent for this month of November. In the past she has written the $900 checks to me, not the landlord directly.

    I understand I cannot evict her, or move out and stop paying rent, or turn off the utilities. And I must allow her free access to the property. Not a problem.

    I also understand that I do not have to permit her to use any of my personal belongings, which I can remove (since all the furniture in the house is mine). So I will get rid of all my couches, tables, tv's etc. in the common areas.

    (1) Can I require that she put her name on the utilities if she remains using them so she is jointly liable?

    (2) When can I sue her? Do I have any recourse if she doesn't pay me her required portion of rent by a certain time?

    In short, I just want her to leave. Or, find some roommates that will move in with her and I will gladly move out. And the only reason she is not is to make my life miserable and try to take advantage of anything she can. Why would you want to live somewhere were the person doesn't want to be around you?

    I am going to make an appointment with a landlord-tenant attorney in my area. There are a few things in the lease that might help. And I am working on the option of having someone take over my portion of the lease. I would even let that individual pay less than what I am paying and make up the difference just to get away from her.

    One thing: the lease requires no pets. And states that if a pet is brought into the unit the landlord can charge an additional $200 per month and require the removal of the pet. She brought her dog who is now living in the unit. If I bring this to the landlord's attention I am hoping he will require her to remove the dog and she won't want to be without it. Although, I don't want to be responsible for the additional $200 a month fee if she won't pay (which I know she won't). It's not my dog. I want to make sure I am not responsible for any charges. Can I write a letter requiring her to remove the dog and use this to my advantage? Or will I end up just hurting myself and incurring additional charges from the landlord for something that I am not responsible for.

  5. #15
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    Default Re: Joint Lease - Cheating Girlfriend Refuses to Move Out

    1. You cannot force her, no. That would be something else you'd sue her for if you can somehow prove that there was an agreement that she would pay X amount/portion.

    2. You can sue her after the lease is over, or after one of you leaves.

    Wrt pets, be careful - you WILL be on the hook for the $200/month.
    An intelligent hell would be better than a stupid paradise - Victor Hugo

    Do not microwave grapes

  6. #16
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    Jan 2008
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    Default Re: Joint Lease - Cheating Girlfriend Refuses to Move Out

    (1) Can I require that she put her name on the utilities if she remains using them so she is jointly liable?
    You can ask, but she can say NO, and there's no way you can force her.

    (2) When can I sue her?
    At the conclusion of the lease term.

    Do I have any recourse if she doesn't pay me her required portion of rent by a certain time?
    Nope. Just keep track for the suit later.

    If I bring this to the landlord's attention I am hoping he will require her to remove the dog and she won't want to be without it.
    This will backfire and result in your being held responsible for charges and/or evicted. You're BOTH on the lease, you're BOTH responsible for upholding the terms of the lease, and you're BOTH responsible for any damages. If the dog damages anything, be certain to document it - time and date stamped photos are your friend. If you have a smartphone, check to see if its camera supports time and date stamping. If not, a cheap digital camera that does can be had for about $50.
    I'm not a lawyer, but I play a researcher on the internet!
    Caution: I bite. WARNING: Do not send questions or complaints by PM. I'm likely to post them publicly and embarrass you half to death.
    I'm training for the MS Society's Bike to the Bay - and blogging about it!

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
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    7

    Default Re: Joint Lease - Cheating Girlfriend Refuses to Move Out

    Is there a way I can sue her before the lease is over? I don't think it's feasible for me to front 6 months of her rent and utilities, let her live there rent free and then attempt to collect it later. I don't know many people who could afford to do that. What I am asking is what is the earliest time I can bring a suit against her for unpaid rent/utilities? I am hoping this will motivate her to either move or at the worst case scenario pay the rent she is required to. She also orally agreed to put money down towards the security deposit. She never did. So any damage to the property she decides to cause, guess who will be responsible?

    Wrt the dog. I am aware that she brought the dog into the house. And I am aware that this is in violation of the lease. I don't have any rights to be able to enforce the provisions of the lease? For example, if she starts a commercial business in the apartment (which is explicitly prohibited by the lease), I have to just let her do it and hope that she doesn't get caught so I am not on the hook for breach? That doesn't seem to make sense. I understand the landlord gets to enforce the provisions of the lease and can charge me the extra $200/month as a tenant, but if I'm not the one breaching the lease and I am agreeing the dog should not be there, how can I be held responsible?

    The endgame here is to get her to move out. A reasonable person who refuses to pay rent or utilities and is not wanted would have no problem with this. The problem is I am not dealing with a reasonable person. Only someone who wants to inflict as much damage (emotional and financial) as possible.

    I guess what I am asking is if you put yourself in this situation, what is the quickest and easiest, but legal, way to get her to leave. Or, get out of the lease without having to pay 6 months rent (as costly as it would be, I would even be willing to move all my stuff, rent a new place, and pay double rent until the landlord can find new tenants to move in; my only concern is if I do this, she'll refuse to leave or let new tenants move in and still pay no rent).

    Keep in mind, she is already in debt and has little to no assets. So while it would be great to just front 6 months of rent and utilities for her; and let her cause havoc on my life for 6 months... there's little to no chance that she'll keep saved $900 let alone ($900 x 6 + utilities + any damages) at the end of 6 months. And even if she did, she'd refuse to pay it or spend it just so I wouldn't get it.

    In this case, hindsight is 20/20, but I am trying to do whatever I can to resolve it the best now.

  8. #18
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    Jan 2008
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    Default Re: Joint Lease - Cheating Girlfriend Refuses to Move Out

    Are you just not reading the answers we've given you, because they aren't what you want to hear?

    I've grown weary of repeating myself.
    I'm not a lawyer, but I play a researcher on the internet!
    Caution: I bite. WARNING: Do not send questions or complaints by PM. I'm likely to post them publicly and embarrass you half to death.
    I'm training for the MS Society's Bike to the Bay - and blogging about it!

  9. #19
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    Default Re: Joint Lease - Cheating Girlfriend Refuses to Move Out

    Quote Quoting BristowMD
    View Post
    Is there a way I can sue her before the lease is over? I don't think it's feasible for me to front 6 months of her rent and utilities, let her live there rent free and then attempt to collect it later. I don't know many people who could afford to do that. What I am asking is what is the earliest time I can bring a suit against her for unpaid rent/utilities? I am hoping this will motivate her to either move or at the worst case scenario pay the rent she is required to. She also orally agreed to put money down towards the security deposit. She never did. So any damage to the property she decides to cause, guess who will be responsible?
    No.


    Wrt the dog. I am aware that she brought the dog into the house. And I am aware that this is in violation of the lease. I don't have any rights to be able to enforce the provisions of the lease? For example, if she starts a commercial business in the apartment (which is explicitly prohibited by the lease), I have to just let her do it and hope that she doesn't get caught so I am not on the hook for breach? That doesn't seem to make sense. I understand the landlord gets to enforce the provisions of the lease and can charge me the extra $200/month as a tenant, but if I'm not the one breaching the lease and I am agreeing the dog should not be there, how can I be held responsible?

    You can't enforce anything.


    The endgame here is to get her to move out. A reasonable person who refuses to pay rent or utilities and is not wanted would have no problem with this. The problem is I am not dealing with a reasonable person. Only someone who wants to inflict as much damage (emotional and financial) as possible.

    I guess what I am asking is if you put yourself in this situation, what is the quickest and easiest, but legal, way to get her to leave. Or, get out of the lease without having to pay 6 months rent (as costly as it would be, I would even be willing to move all my stuff, rent a new place, and pay double rent until the landlord can find new tenants to move in; my only concern is if I do this, she'll refuse to leave or let new tenants move in and still pay no rent).

    Keep in mind, she is already in debt and has little to no assets. So while it would be great to just front 6 months of rent and utilities for her; and let her cause havoc on my life for 6 months... there's little to no chance that she'll keep saved $900 let alone ($900 x 6 + utilities + any damages) at the end of 6 months. And even if she did, she'd refuse to pay it or spend it just so I wouldn't get it.

    In this case, hindsight is 20/20, but I am trying to do whatever I can to resolve it the best now.

    You've already been told.

    A minor point though - she has no assets and already in debt? Even if you sue her, it sounds like collecting on the judgment would be nigh on impossible...and that's IF you can prove she actually owes you anything at all.

    (I'm not convinced she does owe you anything, frankly - not legally anyway)
    An intelligent hell would be better than a stupid paradise - Victor Hugo

    Do not microwave grapes

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