I have a roommate who is refusing to pay her half of the electric and Internet bills. We are both on the lease, what are my options? Any way I can file charges and get out of my lease?
3 Answers from Attorneys
No you cannot. The lease you signed is with the landlord. You can't legally get out of it because of something your roommate is doing unless the lease says so. You need to have a strong talk with your roommate about sharing the expenses and be prepared to separate when the lease expires.
I agree with Attorney Love. You and your roommate are both responsible for the lease so you should figure out some way to keep all rent and other obligations current/paid. As to "getting out of your lease" you would need to speak with the landlord/rental agent but the answer will probably be "no". Finally, I don't think you can file any criminal charges against your roommate related to this situation. Unfortunately it is one of the key perils in agreeing to be a joint obligor on a contract or debt. Good luck in resolving this and do be looking to end this business relationship when the lease ends.
What are you going to have her charged with? Being a jerk? If that were a crime, 95% of the population would be in and out of jail. One way to beat a jerk is to be a bigger jerk. If the electric and internet are in your name, if it were me, I'd have them shut off and see how long until she ponys up the dough. Or you could go to the fuse box and selectively turn of electric service to her room and other areas she uses and then put a lock on the fuse box. Be careful that doing so will not violate the terms of your lease. You could also be completely obnoxious and repulsive (again be careful here to do things that are annoying as hell but otherwise legal)and inform her that the jerk behavior will stop when she pays her bills!