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What claims do I have against a roommate who broke the lease and left me "holding the bag" and getting evicted?

Seattle, WA |

I understand that you can sue a roommate for all the extra money that you end up paying the landlord to cover the roommate's portion of the rent, but in this case, I can't cover my roommate's portion and the landlord is kicking me out. I have already done research on evictions and getting help for that. But what claim do I have against a roommate for making me homeless for possibly several months?

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Attorney answers 1


When one party breaches, the other party has an obligation to mitigate their damages. No court is going to make your roommate pay you for possibly several months. One month? Sure. Two months? Maybe. You can get a new roommate and then that won't be such an issue for you.

You and your roommate are jointly and severally liable on the lease, so if you are going to get evicted over this the smartest thing you can do is leave before your landlord actually files the eviction. This will save your rental history. From your new place you can decide whether to sue the roommate who left, from a position of strength. You cannot effectively be a litigant while you are living in your car.

Elizabeth Powell

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