If I want to sue my friend for moving out of our apartment before the lease was over, can I do this and add the legal fees as well?

UPDATED: Aug 3, 2011

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If I want to sue my friend for moving out of our apartment before the lease was over, can I do this and add the legal fees as well?

Asked on August 3, 2011 Illinois


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

I presume you have an agreement between your friend to share the rent of the apartment you are sharing. Is the agreement written down and signed by each of you or is it in writing?

Assuming you have an agreement (oral or written) with your friend to share rent for the apartment and the friend/roommate moves out before the lease is over, you have an obligation to try and rent out the space to a third person for the duration of what is left to minimize any loss that you might incur by the increase in rent you would be paying to the landlord had the friend/roommate not left. Any increase would be your damages. You could then bring a lawsuit for these damages.

As you attorneys fees desired in the lawsuit against your friend, unless you have a written agreement signed by your friend allowing for attorneys fees if he or you breach the agreement for the apartment's rental or there is a statute allowing attorneys fees under the circumstances you are writing about, you would not be able to get attorneys fees if you bring a lawsuit against your friend and win.

Most states do not allow attorneys fees in a statute under the facts that you have written about.

Good luck.


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