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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Posts
    1

    Default Ex-Roommate is Making Excessive Claim for Utilities

    My question involves a roommate in the State of: Texas

    I'm being sued by a former roommate. We were both on separate leases. No issues with the rent. He's suing me for electricity and cable. The few months living together, his girlfriend lived there and was there more than he was..ran up all the utilities. I asked about the cable that wasn't setup but never watched the tv or had internet access. A month or so later, he wants to be paid a ludicrous amount for the utilities. His parent has sent me threatening voice mails and emails demanding payment..tried to reason with one of them and received a verbal and text confirmation that I shouldn't be required to pay and they weren't aware of the living situation.

    I never agreed to have two roommates or pay for someone living and running up bills or being there when no one else was at home. The complex even sent a threatening letter to him that his girlfriend must be on the lease and he was violating it. I tried to get the office to evict him, but they would not do it. Now I'm being sued. I want to know my rights because any verbal agreement was voided, as I signed up for 1 roommate only. Tried to settle but was dealing with 3 different people on the matter. Can I counter-sue him based on his gf living there without my permission & working from home? I want to settle the matter out of court but need to know my legal rights. Can I legally expect the leasing office to provide a copy of that letter, and can they be a witness with a notary on my behalf? The office also agreed that I shouldn't have to pay for utilities I never had to opportunity to use and couldn't do anything about because they were in his name. Also she was a drug user and brought in random people into my apartment while I was here and away. Numerous complaints brought up via the leasing office about the noise etc..will a print out of text messages be admissible? Thanks for the input..also can harassment be a part of a countersuit because his parent continually harassed me throughout the process..also tried to give one third of the electricity, which I know was more than fair being that the electricity now has gone down considerably..which I believe is further proof of his gf mooching off of me and expecting payment. I took over a lease but signed a new one btw. The prior roommate is who I had the agreement with and continually apologized for what occurred after and said he would do whatever was necessary to remedy the situation..Help please.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Behind a Desk
    Posts
    98,846

    Default Re: Old Roommate Situation-Small Claims Court

    You can present whatever evidence you have, along with your own testimony, of the terms of any agreement or understanding (or that there was no agreement or understanding) and why a 2-way split of the bills (if that's what your roommate is proposing) would be unjust under the circumstances. You will have to properly authenticate any text messages; although if the case is in small claims court the judge may set a very low bar.

    Saying "he harassed me" falls far short of establishing the elements of a viable legal action; but if all he has done is ask for your share of the utilities, even if he's asking a lot I very much doubt that you'll be able to establish either a valid cause of action or any appreciable amount in damages.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    California
    Posts
    90

    Default Re: Old Roommate Situation-Small Claims Court

    The ex-roommate does not sound like he is harassing you, as Mr. Knowitall said above. However, unless either he is underage (or his parent has financial power of attorney, legal guardianship, or conservatorship), or his parent is his attorney, then there is absolutely no reason for the parent to be involved. Unless they are the guarantor on the utility bill (sometimes happens when someone is establishing utility accounts for the first time, has no or bad credit, and doesn't want to or can't pay a security deposit), they are not a party to the account or the agreement and therefore have no cause to get involved.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Posts
    68

    Default Re: Ex-Roommate is Making Excessive Claim for Utilities

    [QUOTE=gemini;520780]My question involves a roommate in the State of: Texas

    I'm being sued by a former roommate. We were both on separate leases. He's suing me for electricity and cable. The few months living together, his girlfriend lived there and was there more than he was..ran up all the utilities. A month or so later, he wants to be paid a ludicrous amount for the utilities. His parent has sent me threatening voice mails and emails demanding payment..tried to reason with one of them and received a verbal and text confirmation that I shouldn't be required to pay and they weren't aware of the living situation.[quote]Stop communicating with the parents, they are a non factor and feel free to tell them exactly that.
    <snipped a load of yik-yak>
    Bottom line. Collect your facts that are directly pertinint to your claim that you are being overbilled. Judges don't give a shiny hoot about anything else. Calm demeanor, facts and well presented facts at that.

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