What to do if my roommate owes me money for me paying his share of our electricity bill?

UPDATED: Sep 10, 2012

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What to do if my roommate owes me money for me paying his share of our electricity bill?

The electricity account is under my name but I have text messages from him acknowledging that he owes me money. Is that by itself enough to take him to court or no?

Asked on September 10, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Minnesota


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

It is not necessary to have a formal signed contract to have an enforceable agreement. Oral agreements, or agreements evidenced by less formal writings, such as emails or text messages, can often be enforced, too. If the roommate received something of value in exchange for paying part of the electric bill--which is presumably the case; he lived there and had the use of the electricity--and there is evidence that he agreed to pay his share of the bill, then there is a good chance you could hold him accountable for his share.

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