Talk to your landlady and draw up a fresh lease agreement. You need to recover the loan all alone.

A member of the Army Reserves owes me money for covering him with last month's rent and utilities. He won't pay. What are my options?

We all (4 of us) moved into a condo on Oct. 6, 2013. He paid his security deposit and the first month's pro-rated rent, as well as utilities. He is the only one of us that does not have a guarantor. However, this month (November), he told both myself and my housemates that he "would have the rent to the landlady by the fifth." We never heard anything more about it, so we assumed he did. However, on November 16, my landlady wrote to me, telling me that she had not yet received his payment of $875 for the month's rent. Because we are all on the lease, we are all responsible for the total $2750 monthly rent. I tried to get into contact with him, and eventually ended up writing a check for $875. I informed him he would need to pay me back the next day (November 17). He said he would. He did not. I then informed him he would need to pay me the next day (November 18). He did not. (This is all over text message, thus in writing. He refused to call me). I then informed him that he owed me November's rent ($875), the resulting overdraft charge from my bank account because the money had been pulled out ($25), and the November utilities ($59.97), and that the entire amount needed to be paid, in full, on Tuesday November 26. He said "yes" that he would pay it (again over text), and did not. He now is away on vacation (which seems suspicious considering his entire basis for owing me money is due to the government shutdown and him not receiving his military pay). He is in the Army Reserves. December rent is due December 1. What do I do? I do not have the funds to cover him again, and same with my other housemates. We do not want to be evicted, nor do we want to involuntarily pay for him. PLEASE HELP!!!

 

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Since you insist that your landlady won't draw up a new contract, hence the best thing for you would be talk it out with an attorney. Yes, small claims court is a good idea, but there are minute legalities involved when going through the process and hence it's best to be safe and not make any further mistakes. However, the lawyer wouldn't be able to represent you in the small claims court. It'd be cost effective too somewhere down the line. You can only get advise from him or her.

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I had no choice but to pay the money as we are JOINTLY responsible for the rent, and the landlady does not care who or where the money comes from, as long as it is in full. Saying that I shouldn't have paid it is a moot point. I paid it. This is not a situation where I can go back and change that. Obviously, at this point, yes, I wish I hadn't paid it. But I did. So, my question was: What are my options? Having not gone through this before, I was more wondering about the steps of small claims court and what my options are after a ruling to recover the money since he has made multiple false promises and has been evasive. The landlady refuses to evict him, and as she says it is costly for her to go through that process, so therefore, no fresh agreement can be drawn up. If someone can please help regarding the LEGAL matters of this, that would be great. I have attempted to do research regarding the steps I can take (as at this point, I am trying to figure out all my options), but have come up with little or no information. Thank you.

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Well, you shouldn't have paid for this fellow in the first place and that too without informing your landlady. Right now, the first thing you and your housemates should do is find out whether or not he's actually interested in staying on at this condo. Otherwise, talk to your landlady and draw up a fresh lease agreement if needed. As for the amount in question, then it's on you alone to recover it.


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