My question involves a roommate in the State of: Ohio
So here is the deal. I live in a 4 bedroom house with my brother Scott and 2 others Lauren and Kathleen. Lauren and Kathleen moved in halfway through December because the previous 2 people had to leave for basic training. We were aware of them leaving since the beginning of the lease and so was the landlord who said if we find 2 people to take over there is not problem. Rent is 275 a month (1100 for the whole house) plus 1/4th utilites. Our lease if up July 25th 2010. Both Lauren and Kathleen signed a lease starting in January until the end of the original lease July 25th. Rent is due on the 1st of each month. On Feb 1st at noon I received a text message from Kathleen saying she was moving out because her dad was not giving her money for rent and Lauren was making it uncomfortable to live there. (A side note Kathleen was not honest with us when we interviewed her to live with us and is irresponsible and immature. When a problem did a rise Lauren would try to talk to Kathleen who would avoid her or not be seen for a day or two.) That is all the warning I received she was moving out. I talked to the landlord who said the Kathleen thought she could just pick up and move out without any penalties.
The problem in this situation is in the lease it says if a tenant moves out the remaining tenants are responsible for the full amount of rent $1100. Meaning we would pay $366.67 instead of the $275 we signed lease for.
The landlord did not say if they would take any action against Kathleen if she jumped ship but i doubt the will because of that statement in the lease.
Also Everyone signed their own copy of the lease. No where is there a copy with all 4 signatures on it. Does this void the lease? I know it can complicate things more.
Assuming the landlord comes after us fro the remaining rent.. what happens if we only continue to pay the 275 each?
And if the landlords do not go after Kathleen for remainder of rent can we take her to small claims court for at least the $1350 remaining rent if not the 1/4th utilities as well?
On top of that is it even worth the effort?
Thank you for any advice you can offer.