What to do if my roommate never signed the lease and is trying to move out behind my back?

UPDATED: Mar 13, 2012

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What to do if my roommate never signed the lease and is trying to move out behind my back?

My roommate and I have lived together consecutively for 16 months. We just moved to a different house 3 months ago due to our third roommate moving when that lease expired. My current roommate has apparently decided she doesn’t want to live with me and told a mutual friend she is moving out. She is listed as a tenant but never signed the lease due to her just never doing it. She has not told me she is leaving. She is not even speaking to me at the moment for whatever reason. What are my legal rights if she leaves? If I sue her will a verbal contract hold any weight in court?

Asked on March 13, 2012 under Real Estate Law, North Carolina


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

If your current roommate never signed the written lease for the unit you are currently renting from your landlord, the current roommate is technically on a 30 day oral month to month agreement with your landlord.

I suggest that you speak with your landlord about the possibility that your roommate may leave the rental without having signed the lease. If the roommate leaves without signing the agreement that you presumably signed, you very well could be legally bound to pay the entire monthly rent for the premises.

If you sue her, from what you have written at most you would get 30 days half rent from her assuming a 30 day notice to end the lease was given to the landlord by her. I would try and get a roommates agreement signed by you and her where she agrees to be your roommate for the balance of the lease that you have and to pay half rent assuming that is your agreement.

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