Do I have recourse for his portion of the rent ?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Do I have recourse for his portion of the rent ?

Tina, Lawyer

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Pearl Wilson, Lawyer’s Assistant

What recourse I have moving forward with a rental apartment. I have lived in my apartment for approximately 7 years, my boyfriend has been living with me for approximately 2 1/2. He has never formally been put on the written agreement but we verbally agreed together to sign 2 new leases within those 2.5 years seeing as they make you renew your lease each year and we’ve always signed a 12 month lease. Our last lease was agreed-upon on December 1. He and I discussed it many times and verbally agreed to sign and start another 12 month lease. I cannot afford it on my own nor can I afford an evection nor can I afford to the amount of money it takes to break the lease. However, he walked out on me the other day and has signed a new lease and says that he will be back to collect his belongings. I obviously have many pieces of mail here to prove his residency here but since I am the only one that actually signed the part of the

lease, can I take legal action to get my portion? There is also a garage attached to our contract until December 1 that he asked me to get for him and contains only his belongings

Asked on February 15, 2018 under Real Estate Law, Colorado


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

If you had a written lease agreement with him, you could enforce it against him and hold him responsible for all rent he owes under the agreement. But without a written agreement--that is, with just an oral or unwritten agreement that he would contribute to rent--the most he would be responsible for is the agreed-upon share of rent through to the end of the month he moved out; that is because an oral or unwritten lease is only a month to month lease and so he cannot be held liable for more than a month's rent at a time. Each month, he'd be resonsible for that month's rent; he is also responsible for all rent for months he did in fact live there under the oral agreement, and so should have paid, but failed to do so.

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