Is my roommate allowed to forfeit paying utilities if she is not on the lease and did not occupy her room for a month without telling us?

UPDATED: Feb 11, 2012

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Is my roommate allowed to forfeit paying utilities if she is not on the lease and did not occupy her room for a month without telling us?

I am living in an apartment in which one of the girls moving out is not on the lease. We did not create any binding contract when she moved in to replace the original leaser. As such, she did not occupy the apartment last month (though did not inform us her room would be vacant) and told us late last month that she would be moving in the middle of this month. The issue is that she refuses to pay utilities for last month, claiming that she should not pay because she was not there. Is she allowed to do this?

Asked on February 11, 2012 under Real Estate Law, New York


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

From what you have written, your roommate is on a month-to-month oral sublease with you. She is obligated to pay her share of the rental's upkeep from the time she gives notice of leaving up to the date she actually leaves. She is required to give 30 days notice of move out.

If your roommate retroactively tells you she has moved out, she is still obligated for rent and utilities before the notice was given and for 30 days afterwards.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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