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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2012

    Default Roommates Moving Out Without 30 Day Notice - Who is Liable for Rent

    My question involves landlord-tenant law in the State of: New York (NYC)

    Hi, here is a simple explanation of my situation:

    I am currently in a lease with two other roommates (all of us have guarantors on the lease). Rent is $1600 a month.

    Due to compatibility issues living with each other, we had agreed to live separately next year and there was an implicit acknowledgement that the other 2 roommates were moving out early. However, no formal acknowledgement was made, other than the other 2 notifying the landlord that they were planning on leaving informally. The landlord informed them that a lease modification could be agreed upon with little to no prior notice if and when they decided to move. They don't really seem to care what happens as long as they get their $1600. Me and the other 2 roommates were under an (informal) agreement that they would leave in August, but I did not hear specifics and until today was under the impression they had been unable to secure a new lease.

    Yesterday they did - and I only found out tonight. I am in the awkward position wherein they are planning to move out with little notice on August 1st and leave me liable for all rent beginning then (the lease ends September 1; I am planning on remaining in the apartment for the next year and finding an additional roommate to assist with rent in addition to a girlfriend who will be moving in formally on the lease). They have promised me that they will be accommodating through this process (including leaving money down on security deposit in September temporarily, which I can pay them back on) and think I am making this a 'big deal'; however, I feel that without a formal notice of renegotiation they are leaving me without any notice to cover the extra rent. Frankly I'm already in a precarious financial situation and while I can appreciate that they needed to find an apartment before the beginning-of-fall-semester rush (it took them two months to find an apartment before we even moved in), I am unsure if I can even raise the money for next month's rent. Essentially I feel as though my friendship has been used to cut them of an $1100 obligation which they are dumping on me with little notice. What are my options?

    As I see it I have a few: refuse to cover the rest of the rent, which would have the effect of ending 2 friendships and having to live with 2 angry people for a single month; find 2 month-long subletters; or find an alternate financial arrangement. As long as my rent does not triple from 500 to 1600 I really do not care what I have to do (and will not be upset about the situation, frankly), though obviously the first option is extremely unpalatable. Is it possible to fill two rooms in NYC for a month on such short notice?

    Thank you so much in advance.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Behind a Desk

    Default Re: Roommates Moving Out Without 30 Day Notice - Who is Liable for Rent

    Leases normally hold all tenants jointly and severally liable for rent. That means that, as long as the tenancy continues, each roommate is potentially on the hook for the full rent. If that means one roommate has to pay the full rent, in violation of an agreement with his other roommates as to how rent should be divided, he can sue his deadbeat roommates in small claims court.

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