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Old 12-13-2010, 04:46 PM
Location: Camberville
11,078 posts, read 15,369,266 times
Reputation: 17277


Hi all,

This is long, so the most important parts are bolded. For the record, I'm a 22 year old female living with a 22 year old and 28 year old set of brothers who I found on Craigslist.

I moved cross country in September and took the first affordable room in an apartment that would take my cat and I without meeting us in the 2 weeks I had to move 1000 miles. I live with two brothers- one is decent, but the other is awful. I dealt with the awful brother before moving in, and he lied about quite a few things regarding the apartment. He told me all the rooms were the same size (mine is the smallest by a significant margin but we all pay the same rent), told me hot water was included and that we had gas heat (we have oil and have to pay for hot water as well), neglected to mention a HUGE extra room that I have to pay to heat, and didn't mention that his girlfriend expects to spend 4-5 nights a week here and will not pay any rent or utilities (despite turning on the heat when it's not even that cold outside and then not turning if off when no one else is home). There have also been several cases where my roommates went to bed and left their friends/girlfriend watching TV downstairs so when they let themselves out, they couldn't lock the door behind them (you need a key). Our front door has been wide open on at least 4 or 5 occasions.

At first I figured whatever, I can deal with anything for a year. Then some of my things started turning up broken or missing after they hosted parties (which they never inform me about until there are 20 people in the house), one roommate is constantly smoking pot which makes me nauseous, the place is a pig sty (piles of half eaten food for days in the living room), my roommates are often drunk, loud, and belligerent, and my indoor cat has ended up outside overnight in the winter in New England several times. Talking to them gets nowhere- they both are either high or on sleeping pills most nights and even my notes and emails have not really resulted in anything.

In any case, it's costing me money and sanity. I basically never leave my room at this point and am the only one who cleans anything, provides common materials (like toilet paper or paper towels- if I didn't, they would just leave messes uncleaned in the bathroom and kitchen counters), etc.

A friend has a vacating roommate and offered to let me move in. The location is MUCH better (I rely on public transport and currently walk 2 1/2 miles to work, a mile to the grocery store, etc), the rent is the same, and it's a smaller space (so cheaper to heat) with a conscientious roommate who doesn't work weird hours and party during the week. I desperately want to move.

The only problem is, I have a verbal contract with both my roommates and the landlord to be there until September. The landlord is pretty unresponsive and never furnished a lease despite me trying to get in touch with her to sign something. I've been here for 3 months and called several times to get a lease but no go. When I moved in, I was SUPPOSED to sign a 1 year lease until Sept. 2011. Since I never signed anything, that puts me at month to month, correct?

In order to make use of my last month's rent, I would not be moving out until Feb 1st. I fully plan on attempting to find a new roommate before then. Based on Mass law, can I just tell them in a certified letter before January 1 that I plan on moving out and then use my last month's rent for January? If I leave and there is no roommate, besides really sucking for my roommates, would I be legally obligated based on my verbal contract?

I'm admittedly extremely naive about these things. This is my first apartment for my first job out of college- I was desperate and really had no idea what I was doing.

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Old 12-13-2010, 07:19 PM
24,863 posts, read 47,506,187 times
Reputation: 17880
Unfortunately, it is easy to take advantage of desparate people.

The problem with oral contracts are they are only as good as the paper they are written on.

That said... what is the worst that can happen if you just leave?

I suppose they could try to recover... kind of hard to do that without a written agreement.

Are you willing to forgo last month's rent for a clean start? Might be worth it from the conditions you describe.

Legal advice requires the services of a lawyer representing you...

How will you be able to stick it out for another 60 to 90 days?
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Old 12-13-2010, 07:29 PM
Location: Dallas, TX
88 posts, read 229,344 times
Reputation: 30
Confer with an attorney HOWEVER most verbal agreements would never stand up in court it gets down to he said she said.
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Old 12-14-2010, 04:54 AM
Location: St Thomas, US Virgin Islands
24,671 posts, read 53,123,753 times
Reputation: 26338
I believe that legally you've already established your tenancy by living there and paying rent for over 30 days so, without a lease, you would be considered to be on a month to month contract. Did you pay first and last month's rent upon moving in? Security deposit? Presumably you have receipts or cancelled checks?

Any why do you feel it necessary to find a new roommate to replace you? You have no lease. You give your 30 day notice and you're under no moral or legal obligation to find someone else. Good luck!
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Old 12-14-2010, 05:47 AM
232 posts, read 1,258,447 times
Reputation: 238
Originally Posted by Lynn411 View Post
Confer with an attorney HOWEVER most verbal agreements would never stand up in court it gets down to he said she said.
And if it goes to court, she could bring up the pot smoking as being why she left. Sure, it's still he said/she said, but are the other roommates going to risk that becoming public knowledge?

I think, going off of the information in her post, they would be unlikely to even try to go after her for anything.

Good luck getting out of that situation as easily as possible, OP. If it were me, I'd pack and move out overnight.
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Old 12-15-2010, 06:07 AM
Location: Camberville
11,078 posts, read 15,369,266 times
Reputation: 17277
Thanks everyone.

I moved in a week after my roommates moved in, so they paid they last month's rent for me and I reimbursed them. I have record of that through my bank statements, but I'm not sure how that works with the landlord since it was last month's for the whole apartment, not just my share. I am really not in a position to forgo that rent- a month's rent is more than a week's pay for me and losing that would take a SERIOUS hit to my savings.

My plan is to look for a new roommate starting now and then inform them at the end of the month that I plan on moving out by Feb 1st. I then hope to send in a certified letter to my landlord when I would normally pay rent and inform her that I am vacating and that my last month's rent is paid. The new tenant will then be responsible for paying the last month.

Unfortunately, that just means things will be really awkward for a month with my roommates.
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Old 12-15-2010, 01:39 PM
Location: St Thomas, US Virgin Islands
24,671 posts, read 53,123,753 times
Reputation: 26338
Your plan is really quite bass ackwards. How do you plan on showing the premises to a prospective new room-mate on the sly as it were? If you find someone to replace you, how can you know whether this person will be acceptable either to the current room-mates or the LL?

You're legally on a month to month, you have no obligation to find someone to replace you so stop complicating things and just give your month's notice and work out the last month's rent with your present room-mates.

Next time around be more business-like when it comes to such things. Good luck.
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Old 05-20-2013, 06:35 PM
1 posts, read 12,853 times
Reputation: 10
Questions: A tenant put a $750.00 security deposit to hold the room for her on March 4, 2013. She moved in March 23, 2013 and she asked go down the rent after she moved in her possession. She is unable to afford $750.00 a month and she changed her verbal agreement to 3 months and I told her she should have told me but she did not. She texted she needs to go back to college then 5 minutes later she said something about her job. Which ones? One lie after another..... She told her attorney I kicked her out and my husband is a witness. She needs to take a day off from work moving her stuffs. That was a huge lie. I did not know she plan to move out til she texted in the morning she plan moving back to her place. She is a big fat liar. The other tenant interested too but she beat by putting the deposit. I told her she needs to sign the contact and she has a week to think what is her plan. She told her attorney I forced her to sign the contract. None of the stuffs coming from her mouth are truth. WOW! Now she plan take me to court. I have all the texts and e-mails.
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Old 04-17-2016, 04:39 PM
3 posts, read 4,369 times
Reputation: 21
I took in a person on a week-week basis and let him move in 3 days before his first rent is due. My rent is 180 and his was 100.
The first week he paid $75 of the $100 than on the next Wed he pays $20 owing me $5. Than he disappears for a week. He shows up the next Tuesday claiming he was in the hospital but he worked 3 days. No rent. Now he is 2 weeks behind. He shows up with a small refrigerator in which he paid $50 but no rent money. He now owes $355. And he has not been here for the last 3 weeks. I asked a friend to call him, he did with no reply. So what do I do with his stuff, what about the lock being he has a key. Can I remove his stuff so I can get a new person up here or do I have to go to court and dish out the money I'll never retrieve for I know he is a subcontractor who does not pay taxes and has lied where he lives.
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Old 04-17-2016, 04:49 PM
3,290 posts, read 1,928,317 times
Reputation: 3582
Google "(your state) eviction laws". Go by the law and do not do a self-help eviction or you could find yourself in deeper than you want to be financially. You never know if this guy is really good at doing this type of crap and he may be waiting for you to slip up and do something wrong and he ends up suing you.

Unfortunately you can't just throw him out, remove his things and change the locks.

Hopefully, by you following your state's eviction laws and initially giving him a "pay or quit" notice, it will get him to pay up or leave within the 3 or 5 days (depending upon your state) so he doesn't end up with an eviction on his record and then no one has to go to court. But if he doesn't pay up or leave then you will need to follow through with an eviction in court.
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