What to do if my roommate failed to pay last month’s rent and now a year later I received a letter from the law firm demanding rent, plus extra fees?

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What to do if my roommate failed to pay last month’s rent and now a year later I received a letter from the law firm demanding rent, plus extra fees?

The letter from the law firm is addressed to me, however, listed under “Residents” is only my roommate’s name. Even the case file is listed as the first 3 letters of his last name. I know his parents co-signed to get the apt in the first place. We both filled out the application and received a copy of the lease agreement but it seems like he is listed as the only resident. Am I safe since I’m not listed as a resident on these papers, even though the letter is addressed to me? And should I contact the apartment complext or law firm to confirm this?

Asked on May 8, 2012 under Real Estate Law, California

Answers:

Madan Ahluwalia / Ahluwalia Law P. C.

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

The law firm papers and captions do not have any legal significance, as it is just their internal filing system.  If both you and your roommated signed the lease agreement, then most likely you are both jointly liable if one of you failed to pay the rent.  Check your lease agreement. His parents should also be liable if they are co-signers.  You should be advised that a demand letter is the step before filing a lawsuit, so be aware that if this situation is not resolved it could esculate. 


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