How long after a lease can I be held responsible for paying utilities if my name was not on the lease?

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How long after a lease can I be held responsible for paying utilities if my name was not on the lease?

I would ask my roommate monthly, since her name was on the bills and I had no legal access to them, to tally what I owed her and present me with the total. She never did this. We parted ways, and I did not hear from her for a year. Recently, she’s come to me in search of the money. Am I liable to pay her my half of the utilities?

Asked on October 8, 2012 under Real Estate Law, New York

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

From what you describe, there was an oral or verbal agreement between the two of you that you would pay your share of the bills. An oral agreement like that is enforceable for up to six years; that is, there is a six-year statute of limitations, or time period, during which a lawsuit could be brought to enforce the agreement. Therefore, your former roommate has up to six years to take action against you.


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