Can my roommate be absolved our lease with our landlord without my consent? Can I sue him for back-rent if I cover his share?

Asked about 2 years ago - New York, NY

My roommate and I are co-lessees to an apartment lease that runs through August 2013. He moved out, without notice, the day before November rent was due and is refusing to pay. Although he moved out, he bought and installed a new lock to his room, technically retaining exclusive access of the room. He claims he can have himself absolved from the lease because I smoke marijuana in the apartment and because he feels "unsafe". I don't think either claim is relevant because this is not the first apartment we have shared. We lived together in a previous apartment and then he approached me about getting another place together when that lease was over. I am going to pay rent on his behalf because I do not want the landlord to evict us and ruin my credit.

Additional information

I will continue to pay his share of rent for the remainder of the lease (ends August 6, 2013). I would like to eventually pursue him for what he owes. If there is a lawyer in the area who feels that I would have a case and can help me, I would gladly retain their services. My phone number is attached to my account. Many thanks.

Attorney answers (1)

  1. Edward Paul Alper

    Contributor Level 4

    Answered . He is still liable on the lease, especially if he has locked his room and barred your use of it.
    Please call me at 212-359-9576.

    Edward Alper
    The Law Offices of Edward Alper
    469 Seventh Avenue, SUite 205
    New York, NY 10018
    (212) 359-9576.

Related Topics

Property rental agreement

A rental agreement is a contract outlining terms of tenancy for a certain period of time. Short-term rental agreements may renew automatically until cancelled.

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Landlord-tenant law is governed mostly by state laws, and covers issues like security deposit limits and deadlines, evictions, and the right to withhold rent.

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