Can my roommate sue me for unpaid utilities when she won’t show me the bills?

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Can my roommate sue me for unpaid utilities when she won’t show me the bills?

My roommate has all of the utilities in her name. She is telling me that I owe a huge amount for my share of the utilities. I told her I would pay upon being able to see the utility billing statements so that I can verify that the charges are correct. She will not allow me to see the utility billing statements. She is now threatening to sue. Is she liable of providing the billing statements? Can she just say I owe a certain amount and claim that we have an oral contract that I will pay half?

Asked on January 31, 2011 under Bankruptcy Law, Iowa

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

I know that this is probably worrying you but I say: let her sue!  No judge is going to let her get away with suing for a sum certain without showing proof of the amount.  In other words, she will have to produce the bills in court and she will have to prove that you agreed to pay half of the utilities.  I do not know the whole circumstances around your tenancy with her. Did you share the apartment but the utilities were in he name?  Or did you only rent a room and had no other house privileges?  These details will matter in how the amount will be computed.  But don't let her scare you.  Good luck.


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