General Question

Disc2021's avatar

In a shared apartment, should a tenant have to pay for damages they were not involved in?

Asked by Disc2021 (4491points) May 3rd, 2010

Okay, so I am living with 3 other college students (we’ll call them A, B, and C) in an apartment. I share my room with roommate A and the other room is shared between B and C. Mind you, roommate A and B have a very bad blood between each other (if I would’ve known just how bad, I would have never even considered living here). The situation goes as follows:

Before I even moved in this apartment, roommate A throws a “get together”, in which one of the guest’s… we’ll just say had a “bed wetting” problem on roommate A’s bed. This is the first incident – I wasn’t involved at all. A month or so later while I was at home for the weekend, another “get together” in which the same thing happened – the same guest peed on the bed and allegedly the floor. He replaced the bed sheets and shampooed the floor. Once again, I wasn’t involved.

Today, roommate A discovered that roommate B (sometime after the second incident) went into our room (without our permission) and took photographic evidence of the “incident” and brought it to the apartment office and demanded that me and roommate A pay for a new carpet replacement, meaning we wouldn’t be getting our deposit back.

Is my anger justified? I wasn’t involved in either of the two incidents, what sense does it make that I’m held responsible? If the reasoning is only because I’m a tenant, than shouldn’t all tenants in the apartment be responsible?

What bothers me is that this has nothing to do with a “clean carpet” – it’s a stupid, ongoing, petty feud between roommate A and roommate B.

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16 Answers

MrGV's avatar

Pack your bags and find new roomates.

Disc2021's avatar

@MrGV New roommates next year? Check. Bags packed? Give me until tomorrow morning.

jazmina88's avatar

I think that would also take away roommate b’s deposit as well.

No good. Sorry for your luck. Keep the peeing person in the bathtub in the future. or outside.

Disc2021's avatar

@jazmina88 Nothing has been finalized yet but tomorrow we’re going to go look into what will be done – or at least I am.

Funny thing is, this peeing person has never had any incidents when I was around or anywhere else we’ve been.

Captain_Fantasy's avatar

“Should” is irrelevant to collection agencies. You’re all responsible and liable in their eyes.

YARNLADY's avatar

When you move in with roommates, you take on all their problems as well as your own. There is no way for an outside party (the management) to determine the cause and effect. All renters are equally responsible.

jrpowell's avatar

If you are drunk enough to piss on the floor it is mostly water. Unless the picture has a guy with his cock out pissing all over the place I would clean really well and invite your landlord in for a inspection.

That puddle on the ground in the picture could be a spilled water bottle water.

Pandora's avatar

According to landlord, it makes no difference who is the responsible person. If you are all on the lease, you are each considered equally responsible. Damages will come out of the deposit and any money remaining will be split equally. Unless your landlord is renting his home. Then he can divide it any way. But in a Security deposit you each signed for equal responsiblity of the apartment. They leave the rest to be figured out by you. You can try to all settle it before you move and asign the cost to the responsible party and have them pay you back for what will come out of your deposit. When you move, each cost will be stated by the landlord and you have the option of taking the responsible party court for any damages that you did not cause while not living there. Not guaranteed you win. Best bet is walk away and find decent roomates. And if you move in with someone else who already is living in the apartment, you should go over the apartment and list existing damages that both of you agree you will not be held responsible for and that they agree to pay all cost of those damages to the landlord upon termination of the lease.

PandoraBoxx's avatar

When you move in with roommates, you agree to accept joint responsibility for what goes on. This means that you have a stake in holding the peeing guest to adult behavior by insisting that roommate A does not invite this person to drunken orgies at he apartment, as he cannot hold his liquor. It also means that you have a vested interest in getting things to work out between Roommate A and B.

The cost of moving in with party throwing roommates who have friends who cannot hold their liquor is the loss of the deposit money. “Lie down with dogs, get up with fleas,” as they say. Next time, choose adults as roommates, not frat boys.

john65pennington's avatar

If all four of you signed a lease agreement and agreed to abide by its contents, then all four are responsible for the damages. this is like a couple that separate and the other person is then responsible for all the apartment rent, not just 50%.

Best advice is to move and make sure the landlord is aware of your leaving and to sign a piece of paper, releasing you from further obligations.

Trillian's avatar

I’m still not over the peeing thing. Who does that? Who would allow the person their their bed a second time? What the hell is going on in there?
Crap, I sound like I’m talking to my kids.

thriftymaid's avatar

@YARNLADY Actually, all lessees are “fully” responsible. A landlord may choose to go after all of them, or any one of them. There is no “equal” to it unless the lease specifies it; a landlord would have no reason whatsoever to include such language.

Pandora's avatar

@Trillian I mananged some apartments and you’ll be even surprised by what some grown people do. Had to kick a resident out once because he would have parties and his drunk pals would pee and vomit over the balcony.
Had another one that snuck in a large dog and kept it in a room. They still tried to say they never had a dog. So I guess they ate the carpet, ate the wall and door and pee the carpet.

YARNLADY's avatar

@thriftymaid So you’re saying in legal/lease language equally responsible doesn’t mean the same thing as fully responsible?

thriftymaid's avatar

@YARNLADY Yes. Equally responsible would mean that if there are four roommates, each would be ¼ responsible. When four people sign a lease, they are EACH 100% responsible for any damage. Therefore, a landlord may go after any one of them for 100% of the damage. This is, of course, absent language in the doc contrary to the normal lease language. In some student apartments, each bedroom is leased separately with the living area leased as co-lessees.

Disc2021's avatar

@Trillian Imagine what was going through all of our heads, this person had us all a little freaked, lol. We thought, maybe he had a thing for “peeing”. We were a little unsure of how to deal with him because despite the issue, he was a cool guy none the less, so we didn’t want to shun him or anything. Whenever he was in my company, I’ve always monitored him well though and nothing has ever happened. He says he doesn’t even have any recollection of doing it.

@thriftymaid I understand that much, but In our situation, I dont know why the landlord would choose to go after me as I had as little to do with the incident as roommates B and C did.

Turns out they wont be replacing the carpets and that the only thing any of us are responsible for is paying for a professional cleaning (which has to be done upon moving out anyway). The situation was just blown out of proportion with the feuding amongst the two roommates.

On another note, I officially moved out today for the summer and next year I’ll be living in a bigger house with my own room – decided against renewing the lease for next year =D.

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