Can a landlord turn an unofficial occupantover to collections rather than the tenant who is on the lease?

UPDATED: Dec 19, 2011

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Can a landlord turn an unofficial occupantover to collections rather than the tenant who is on the lease?

In this case I signed the lease. My wife was added as a resident. We attempted to add our roommate as a resident but they wouldn’t let us do so until 6 months into our lease. I was the only person to sign the lease and undergo the background/credit check. When checking my wife’s credit report however they’ve put her in collections for an amount owed. I however have not been turned into collections and I’m the only signer on the lease (my wife did not co-sign since we didn’t need a co-signer).

Asked on December 19, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Tennessee


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

If your wife did not sign the written lease for the unit that you are occupying but she was placed on the lease as an occupant as opposed to a tenant, then she is not a tenant and technically would not be liable for any rent owed to the landlord based upon what you have written.

As such, I fail to see a factual basis for your wife to be turned over to collections about what you have written. I suggest that you have a face to face meeting with the landlord to resolve the collection issues that you have written about.

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