My question involves landlord-tenant law in the State of: MISSOURI
I recently moved in with my roommate mid-December. Everything was fine and my roommate seemed responsible when it came to money/bills. I would give him CASH for whatever I owed (rent/utilities) I never actually saw the utilities bills. I know, stupid. The first utilities bill I paid was in January. During Winter break, I was in Oklahoma with my family and daughter for about 2-3 weeks. He was gone during one of those weeks for a full week. Our bill that month was seemingly high, he said it's never been that high before and his previous roommate was very bad with leaving lights on and I always made sure to conserve energy. He went up to the company and questioned it but they said that was what it was read and so we just paid it.
It was either in March when our first problem occurred. I gave him about $72-74 for half of the utilities ($140-something) Again, I didn't see the bill. A few weeks later, after coming home from class, I found out the electricity was out. I had questioned him about the bill the week before and he told me we had a long time until it was due. I found the electric bill in his room and called them. Turns out, it was not paid even after I gave him my half. I ended up paying the whole bill to get it back on. That night he came home and we discussed it. He now owed me for the whole bill since I already gave him my $70+ plus the $140+ I had to pay. He said we would pay me back and deal with the late fees and the fees for reconnecting it. So he was to pay the next bill alone and still owed me for the $70+. He never paid it back.
This month (a month later), just this Monday, I woke up for class and found the electricity off again. I called the company again and got the balance. Turns out this whole time, the bills have been late so I have been paying late fees that aren't even my fault. I went ahead and paid the $150+ which included the late fees and the turn on fee from last time. I got a hold of him and he came home that night and repaid me for this bill and the $70+ he owed last month. I asked him if he had taken care of the rent issue (I thought it was just about the renewing) and he told me he dropped off $100 before he came home, but I'm not sure because he got home right when I did and I didn't see him stop at the office, but who knows. He told me he'd take care of the rest tomorrow or some other time. I left it at that.
Wednesday I was going to class when my Apartment office called me. She asked me if I could get a hold of my roommate and I told her no. She informed me that we were being evicted THAT SAME DAY because he owed more than $1000 in rent!!! I told her I didn't know because I've been paying my half myself. She told me that this eviction would ruin my credit score. My brother also cosigned for me and made sure I was going to not cause him problems. This infuriated me, who would cosign for me in the future if I needed it if I ruined their credit and how am I gonna rent or get loans or buy a car if I need to? So of course I paid $1009.36. I called, text my roommate all day with no response. I tracked down his step mother, and she was unable to get a hold of him. He is supposedly working with his step-father, so he should be around his mother. I got her contact info and she never answered.
Today, Thursday, I got the office to get a hold of his parents so that they are aware. I got a hold of his step-mother again and his father is now aware of the situation. Still can't get to him. I got his mother's work number and had to call her there with no choice. She said she would have him call me tonight. I waited until 9:30-10pm with no call. I called her back and she told me that everyone has been trying to get a hold of him and no one can. She told me I, along with everyone else calling her about it, was stressing her out. LIKE THIS DOES NOT STRESS ME OUT?! IT SHOULDN'T EVEN BE MY PROBLEM!!'
I now am short over a grand. His phone has been going straight to voice mail since Wed night. If he is at work, he should be with his family. He has not returned home. I am now wondering how I am going to pay for my other bills. I am an independent full-time student, a mother, and I have no other support. How am I supposed to pay for all my other bills, my upcoming half of rent, let alone the full rent if he doesn't come around? I'll get evicted anyways!!
I NEED the money NOW. Not months from now. I am contemplating about suing, but that requires months until I receive the money, and I'm not sure if he could even pay it all at once. I just don't know what to do!! I need help!!! I don't want to ask for my family's help. I chose a stupid roommate and I dont' want to upset them.