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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
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    Default Both Roommates on Lease, One Roommates Leave Without Notice

    My question involves landlord-tenant law in the State of: FL
    My friend rented a house for 1 year in Orlando, FL in August 2011. Her and her roommate are both on the lease. Yesterday the roommate picked her things and left, she called the landlord and let her know that she had talked to my friend about leaving and that she wanted out of the lease. This was not true as the roommate had not communicated to my friend that she was leaving and that she was not giving her notice.

    The roommate is on the lease and she currently has the utilities under her name. My friend talked to the landlord and told her that the roommate had not talked to her about leaving and getting out of the lease. The agreement was that if they were to leave they would give proper notice and help replace with a new roommate. The landlord said it was a domestic dispute and that they had to sort it out.

    The lease agreement was left in the kitchen, when my friend went to look for it, the lease agreement was gone as well as the roommate and her things.

    My friend is afraid that the roommate will call to cancel the utilities and since today is Friday she is afraid she will be out of services for the weekend.

    What legal recourse does my friend have against the roommate?
    Since the lease is a legal binding contract, I believe it wouldn't be as easy as lying and telling the landlord "I spoke with my roommate and she is ok of me getting out of the lease and not giving notice."

    Any suggestions on what my friend can do.

    Many thanks

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Toledo, OH
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    16,020

    Default Re: Both Roommates on Lease, One Roommates Leave Without Notice

    Any suggestions on what my friend can do.
    Your friend can take her roommate to small claims court.
    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!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
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    18

    Default Re: Both Roommates on Lease, One Roommates Leave Without Notice

    thank you for her reply. Can the landlord make my friend responsible for the whole rent even though they are both on the lease?
    What are the consequences for the roommate?

  4. #4
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    Jan 2008
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    Toledo, OH
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    Default Re: Both Roommates on Lease, One Roommates Leave Without Notice

    Can the landlord make my friend responsible for the whole rent even though they are both on the lease?
    Yep. Unless they had entered into separate lease agreements, they are each 100% responsible for 100% of the rent. If your friend doesn't pay, she can be evicted.

    What are the consequences for the roommate?
    If your friend goes to small claims and wins, a judgement will be entered against her ordering her to pay. Your friend will probably have to go to court again to get the order enforced.
    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!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
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    18

    Default Re: Both Roommates on Lease, One Roommates Leave Without Notice

    thank you for your input.
    So my friend will have to sue the roommate in small court for the remainder of the rent fees(August 2012)?

    How long would it take to get this processed in Small Courts and is a lawyer necessary, also what kind of proof needs to be provided?

    Given that the roommate took off with the contract, can my friend ask the landlord for a copy? Is the landlord required to provide her with a copy of the lease agreement?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Toledo, OH
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    16,020

    Default Re: Both Roommates on Lease, One Roommates Leave Without Notice

    So my friend will have to sue the roommate in small court for the remainder of the rent fees(August 2012)?
    Yep.

    How long would it take to get this processed in Small Courts and is a lawyer necessary,
    Depends on how busy the local court is, and no representation is permitted. Certainly, consulting with an attorney prior to filing is helpful, but you can't take one to court with you.

    also what kind of proof needs to be provided?
    The original lease agreement is sufficient. If the roommate left any mail lying about, that's helpful too, to establish that she lived there.

    Given that the roommate took off with the contract, can my friend ask the landlord for a copy? Is the landlord required to provide her with a copy of the lease agreement?
    Yes and yes.
    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. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    18

    Default Re: Both Roommates on Lease, One Roommates Leave Without Notice

    one more thing, the roommate took off with the furniture, from my understanding they both have paid for the furniture, half and half. what should my friend do? call the police and file a theft report?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
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    Toledo, OH
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    16,020

    Default Re: Both Roommates on Lease, One Roommates Leave Without Notice

    what should my friend do?
    Does she have receipts?
    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. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
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    18

    Default Re: Both Roommates on Lease, One Roommates Leave Without Notice

    my friend is looking into it, I went with her roommate to pick up the furniture, it was bought from someone from Craigslist, my friend gave her roommate her checkcard since she my friend was cooking thanksgiving dinner. I went with her roommate to pick up the furniture, I spoke with the person selling the furniture and I also was part of the negotiation, the person selling the furniture wanted cash, I accompanied the roommate to take money of the atm to pay the person cash. probably the transaction will be in the checkcard statements.

    Also, my friend is trying to reach the landlord for a copy of the lease agreement, the landlord is not returning her calls. What should she do?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
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    18

    Default Re: Both Roommates on Lease, One Roommates Leave Without Notice

    the plot thickens. so the other roommate on the lease left with no notice, a month before she decided to bring a 3rd roommate, a male and although my friend was opposed to him being a roommate the other roommate collected rent from him and they guy moved in. Now currently the guy is living there, the old roommate is MIA(although it seems her and the new alleged roommate are communicating) and my friend is stuck. My friend tried to talk to the landlord to get her to evict him but the landlord says that this between my friend and the new roommate. I was there this weekend and the new roommate is very unstable, he texted my friend more than 15 times within an hour. It seems he had asked my friend to introduce him to a coworker and ask her if she wanted to go out with him, the new roommate got upset thinking my friend didnt want to bridge the communication. So the new roommate started blowing up my friends phone with comments that were borderline threats. While I was there he flipped out, called me a spic, threatened to beat me up twice, he said he was in the army and would beat me up. Last night my friend called the non-emergency number for the cops because she feared for her safety, it seems he had flipped out and was screaming obscenities. The police came and talked to my friend for about 30 minutes, they told her that she had to go to court and set up an eviction since he had mail being delivered to the house. Is this true? He is not on the lease at all, the old roommate is gone and is the one that actually received money from him, there is no written agreement that he is paying rent or that he is living there. Also my friend asked the landlord for a copy of the leasing agreement, after checking the agreement, the expiration date on the typed agreement is August 2011. On paper, my friend is not responsible as the leasing agreement has expired. Will this hold in a court?
    What can my friend do, seems she is stuck living with a very unstable individual, fearing for her life. I was a witness of his character, in less than 30 minutes he insulted me with racial slurs, threatened me with violence more than twice.
    Is the landlord being negligent to my friends request of evicting the unwelcomed alleged roommate?

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