What should I do if a roommate doesn't pay rent?


Quick Answer

When a roommate does not pay his fair share of the rent, it is the responsibility of the other tenants to cover the missing portion if all parties signed a joint lease agreement. Holding a roommate meeting about the tardy rent might resolve the situation.

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Full Answer

Sometimes there is little that can be done when a roommate refuses to pay his share of the rent due. A joint lease agreement binds all parties to the same rental contract. Therefore, all tenants on the lease are at risk of eviction unless the entire rent is paid by the due date. Writing a letter to the landlord and explaining the situation may give other roommates more time to raise rent money from other sources. This letter must provide full details about the rent dispute between roommates.

One way to avoid rent problems in the future is to demand that a non-paying roommate move out, and ask the landlord to change the lease agreement to reflect the tenant change. Another solution is to request separate lease agreements, which makes each roommate responsible for meeting the terms of his lease. Under such an example, three roommates may share an apartment, but only one faces eviction for non-payment of his portion of the rent.

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