Can I sue him when the lease is up? 2 Answers as of May 17, 2017

My roommate and I just moved into a condo for about two months now. He's decided that he wants to move out and leaving me stuck to pay a $1800 monthly rent.

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Law Offices of George H. Shers | George H. Shers
It sounds like you have made a contract [can be oral or written]; since he will be breaching, you can sue him for the damages. You are required to make reasonable attempts to mitigate your damages, so you should try to find a replacement roommate [also, you never know if you can collect on any judgment so you want to reduce your damages].
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 5/17/2017
Frank Law Group, P.C.
Frank Law Group, P.C. | David E. Frank
If the agreement between you is in writing and obligates him to pay half the rent, then your roommate is responsible for half the rent. If it's not in writing, ex-roommate is only liable for half rent during his occupancy of the premises. However, even assuming the former (i.e., he agreed in writing to pay half the rent during the term of the lease), you have an obligation to mitigate your damages by trying to find a replacement roommate, such as by placing ad on Craigslist or in your local newspaper, college campus electronic bulletin board, etc., You'll want to keep a record of that so if you have to sue your former roommate, you'll have a good record of what you did to try and find a replacement tenant. Once you do, then you should sue your former roommate for the half of the rent unpaid by him until the replacement roommate begins paying. Cheapest way to do that is normally through small claims court, after sending ex-roommate a thirty-day demand letter to pay-up. If he fails to pay in 30 days, then file the small claims court action against him. That's the scenario under Ca. law. But if you lose in small claims court in CA, that's it; you have no appeal rights, though ex-roommate does if he loses-that's the tradeoff for claimants who wish to take advantage of the small claims process in CA. Good luck!
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 5/17/2017
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