Landlord trying to charge my guest…

By Sue

This is kind of complicated.  The apartment my friend just left is trying to charge her over a  years worth of fees for an unsigned lease.  They are charging her not becasue she did not sign her lease but becasue her roommate’s former roommate did not sign her lease the last year she renewed it.  She was renter1 of this apartment.  She then roomed with another girl renter2 who had her own lease with the complex.  Renter 1 moved out and my friend moved in with renter2 becoming renter3 in December of 2007.  Well renter 2 moved out and now my freind renter3 is moving out.  The complex charged her damages above the deposit which she paid because she knew when she moved in that she would absorb any damages previously there since the apartment had gone from roommate to roommate.  However they are also trying to charge her for an unsigned lease from the dates  3-1-07 to 2-28-09 = to over $700.

I went with her to talk to managment to understand this since she herself never had an unsigned lease.  They said when she moved in she absorbed all fees and damages.  The damages she understood but the complex admits that this rule is no where in the lease she signed.  Yet they are threatining to ruin her credit if she doesn’t pay the balance.  They said she could sue and they would win!  I understand that if she had damages but it is for fees from a previous renter.  Both renters 1 and 2 are no longer even living in this country.  I think they are just trying to bully my friend because she is foreign and young and an easy target.  They also know she is moving out of state in a week.

Is this legal?  Does she have to pay for a previous renter’s fees?  Does she have any recorse?

Edited on: Monday, May 28th, 2012 4:16 pm

2 Responses to “Landlord trying to charge my guest…”

My response: (We welcome stories, examples, explanations, answers and a touch of your personality)

Tom D.

April 2nd, 2009 7:04 am

The problem is that your tenant was the one on the lease, so she is responsible. Its not that they are charging because the lease wasn’t signed, its that they are charging the legally responsible party. Having roommates can get complicated. Even if she wasn’t directly responsible for the damage, she is still liable since her name is on the lease.
I don’t think management is trying to bully your friend. I’m sure it comes down to the fact that your friend is the one on the contract. This may be a learning lesson, but never ever let someone move in until after they sign the lease and are legally responsible too.
Basically, your friend is caught holding the bag.


May 29th, 2012 1:43 am

I agree with Tom D. :) Get everything clear next time.


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