Rental situation turns dangerous

Rent it Right
Published on Mar 26, 2009

Q: Until recently, my daughter was in a rental situation that was downright dangerous. Her roommates turned out to be inconsiderate and mean, and when they drank, they were violent. My daughter was afraid for her safety and moved out, after explaining the situation to the landlord and giving him the keys. The roommates are demanding that she pay her share of the rent, and the landlord doesn't want to get involved. What should we do? --Eric S. A: Let's start with the basics. Assuming all roommates are on the lease, each one is "jointly and severally" responsible for the rent. If a roommate leaves, this means that the landlord can demand the rent from those who remain. As far as the landlord is concerned, if the remaining residents can cover the rent, what does he care if one has left? If the remaining roommates are managing to pay the rent, that's probably why the landlord is unconcerned. Now, suppose the remaining residents can't come up with the whole rent, and ...