My question involves a roommate in the State of: Maryland
I am a tenant in Annapolis, Maryland.
My roommate, due to some irresponsible financial decisions was struggling to make his rent on time; then he got laid off a few weeks ago and a few days ago while I was at work he moved out; he removed all of his belongings (except the furniture he didn't care to move) and left his key without telling me or the apartment complex that he was going to do so.
(Oh, and we are both on the lease.)
I already had to pay his share of the rent last month because I didn't want to get evicted, and now I'm not sure if I have any other options. I have been actively trying to find a roommate to replace him, to no avail. He does not respond to my attempts to contact him and despite my requests for money for rent, he has not given me anything; it seems that he doesn't plan to, either. We only have four months remaining on our lease, but I simply cannot afford to pay the entire rent through the end of the lease...
So I turned in our 60-day notice on the first of the month, but that still leaves me here alone, responsible for the entire rent for two months (which I can't afford), or getting evicted.
a) is there any way I can recover the 1/2 of the rent that i had to pay for him last month (and any other sum that I will probably end up paying, e.g., the utilities that he hasn't paid in months, or this month's rent)? Can I sue him in small claims court? If so, what proof do I need that I did in fact pay it and he did not?
b) How bad is eviction really, for one's credit, etc.? And if I do get evicted, say, at the end of this month, I will only owe the apartment complex rent for this one month, correct?
c) What happens if I just turn in my keys and move out? I know we would still be responsible for paying through the remainder of the lease, but would that be better since I wouldn't have an eviction on my record?
d) Is there anything I can do other than be evicted or magically come up with the money? Has he in some way violated his end of the lease?