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Can I sue my former roommate over damage costs?

Ann Arbor, MI |

My former roommate resided in the apartment a year before I moved in, then she subleased the apartment to me. We both lived in the same apartment for one year. It's a single liability. Some damages in the apartment were done before I moved in and I have documented those damages on an inventory checklist before I moved into the apartment and she co-signed the inventory checklist. I want her to give me a portion of the money that was deducted from my security deposit fo damages that were already there when I moved in. Can I take her to small claims court? What are the chances of me winning?

Attorney Answers 2


  1. Yes, you could sue in small claims court. Because you have her signature on the list of damages that pre-existed your taking over the lease, you have proof that you did not do this damage. This is a pretty strong case. However, be sure your former roommate is collectible before spending the time, effort and money suing her. That is, does she have assets, or a source of income shuch as a job so that you can collect your judgment?

    No attorney-client relationship is formed by the act of attorney providing this answer. This answer is provided for general public informational purposes only. While care is taken to provide accuracy in the answer, as this is not intended or provided as a legal opinion, attorney cannot guaranty the accuracy. Attorney disclaims any basis for liability in providing this free public service. To be certain of accuracy, you should consult with a lawyer for that purpose.


  2. YES you can sue her.
    Get the judgment and later on when shes
    working at a decent job you can garnish
    her wages if she refuses to pay you.

    THIS ANSWER IS PURELY FOR ACADEMIC DISCUSSION ONLY AND DOES NOT CONSTITUTE ANY TYPE OF LEGAL ADVICE OR LEGAL REPRESENTATION.

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