suing a roommate for unpaid bills

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Latest post Mon, May 2 2011 10:05 PM by ClydesMom. 8 replies.
  • Mon, Sep 3 2007 1:11 PM

    • Robyn58
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    • Posts 3

    Question [=?] suing a roommate for unpaid bills

    My son was sharing an apartment with 2 other guys at college. All 3 guys signed a lease, along with the parents. The electric and cable bills were in my son's name. One of the roommates stopped paying the last 3 months of the lease. His parents finally paid the rent to avoid going to court but noone will reimburse my son for the cable and electric bills for 3 months. Since the parents didn't cosign on the bills, only the lease, is there any case against the parents or can my son only sue the roommate? The parents have promised to pay several times and haven't shown up. The roommate has also been a no show when he said he'd pay. There's nothing in writing that says the bills would be split 3 ways but we do have copies of the bills and cancelled checks showing my son paid the whole thing along with a history of 10 months of them splitting all the bills. Just wondering if he has a case.
  • Mon, Sep 3 2007 6:15 PM In reply to

    re: suing a roommate for unpaid bills

    Of course he has a case.

    If I were a judge I'd have no problem believing that there was an agreement to split the bills three ways.

    I'd even believe that the agreement included the parents since they also co-signed the lease.

    If I was your son, I'd list the roommates and the parents on the summons and complaint.





    • The right of the people 
    • to keep and bear arms,
    • shall not be infringed.
  • Mon, Sep 3 2007 8:50 PM In reply to

    • Robyn58
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    • Posts 3

    re: suing a roommate for unpaid bills

    Thanks for the quick response. I was hoping we could include the parents in the suit as I think that's his only hope of getting reimbursed.
  • Tue, Sep 4 2007 2:21 AM In reply to


    Disagree [)*(] Not the parents

    Under the statute of frauds, the promise to answer for the debt of another must be in writing in order to be enforceable. Therefore, the parents of the roommates would not be liable. The roommates, however, can be if the poster's son convinces the judge that there was an oral agreement that they share the costs of the cable, etc.
  • Tue, Sep 4 2007 11:08 AM In reply to

    re: suing a roommate for unpaid bills

    "Since the parents didn't cosign on the bills, only the lease, is there any case against the parents or can my son only sue the roommate?"

    Only the roommate.

    "Just wondering if he has a case."

    Yes.
  • Tue, Sep 4 2007 11:10 AM In reply to

    Disagree [)*(] re: suing a roommate for unpaid bills

    "I'd even believe that the agreement included the parents since they also co-signed the lease."

    You'd believe it based on what? The post clearly says the parents were NOT part of the agreement to split bills. So are you suggesting that the poster's son lie about that?
  • Tue, Sep 4 2007 8:03 PM In reply to

    • Robyn58
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    • Joined on Mon, Sep 3 2007
    • Posts 3

    re: suing a roommate for unpaid bills

    So am I correct in understanding that the suit would be between my son and the 1 roommate who has not paid? And would he have to file in the town where they were living? Just checking because all the boys and their parents live in the same town, but they go to college and had the apartment in another town a few hours away from home. It also sounds tougher now to get reimbursed if this guy doesn't have the money to pay and his parents won't be held liable. We all had to sign the lease but the utilities had to be in one person's name only so sounds like my son might be stuck for the money.
  • Mon, May 2 2011 9:53 PM In reply to

    re: suing a roommate for unpaid bills

    Robyn58:
    It also sounds tougher now to get reimbursed if this guy doesn't have the money to pay and his parents won't be held liable.

     

    I think the way the courts go about payment differs between the states. In my state, if the defendant has not paid the awarded sum in thirty days after the hearing, his wages could be garnished, bank accounts accessed, or personal property (ie car, boat, etc.) could be confiscated to pay the plantiff.

     

    I'm currently in the same position. My roommate paid less than $200 on all bills over the course of the year and now that the lease is up, he thinks because the bills are in my name that it's my problem. If the all people occupying the home agree on bill payment, that is an oral contract. I've been told that judges usually side with the plantiff on these cases.

  • Mon, May 2 2011 10:05 PM In reply to

    WARNING!!!

    This is a FOUR year old thread.  It is highly doubtful the OP will be back to read any of this.

    "That's just my opinion, then again I might be wrong."  Dennis Miller

     

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