This is a common question. Absent an agreement to the contrary, a lessee shares joint and several liability when other lessees on the lease, so you remained responsible even after your departure.
You should have asked for a release from the landlord, who apparently (at that time) understood why you were leaving. WIthout a release, you remained jointly and severally liable for the rent and damages. If you ultimately pay some of this rent and the damages, you may have a claim against your former roommate, but that's not going to help your credit. Sorry.
I may be guessing or not licensed in your state. No atty/client relationship exists. I earn my living collecting points for "helpful" answers.
Hello. In order to address your personal legal issue, an attorney would want to view the written agreement.I suggest as a starting point you view the materials on the Minnesota Attorney General website. Debt collections at times violate certain laws such that they face liability to the debtor. It is unclear what agreement you had with the landlord at the time you left, i.e., whether you were released from liability. This website provides general information, not private legal advice. Some attorneys are available seven days for emergency legal needs. Many attorneys will confer initially at no charge. Then, if legal work is performed, some attorneys will provide a reduced fee for financial hardship. Some attorneys may also assist you in limited scope manner to conserve legal costs. All the best.
Tricia Dwyer, Esq.
LANDLORD TENANT LAW
DEBTOR CREDITOR LAW
DEBT COLLECTION LAW
Twin Cities,, Minnesota licensed attorney, Tricia Dwyer, Esq.: Phone 612-296-9666. LANDLORD TENANT LAW, DEBTOR CREDITOR LAW, DEBT COLLECTION LAW, Rule 114 Qualified Neutral, Minnesota Supreme Court Roster Mediator, Tricia Dwyer, Esq. & Associates PLLC, Phone: 612.296-9666 - EVERY DAY OF THE YEAR until 8 p.m. daily. See www.dwyerlawfirm.net
If you didn't officially have your name removed from the lease, you are 100% liable for all unpaid balances even though the landlord "knew" you left and your former roommate remained. You should have had them sign the paperwork transferring the lease solely into the other person's name. Since you didn't, you're on the hook for it. The only way to clear it is to pay it.
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