Legal Question in Landlord & Tenant Law in Ohio


I live in Marengo Ohio and am having a problem understanding renting laws.

My roommate has decided that since she can't vacuum, do dishes, do any upkeep, change lightbulbs, clean windows, take care of the brand new carpet in her room or anything unless you literally tell her and finally yell at her, she wants to leave. Has no financial problems and can easily pay everything she needs to pay. Both names are on the lease, we are not in a relationship of any kind or related. From my understanding, even in a written contract being a year lease stating that both of us will be responsible for the rent (each of us have always paid half), she is allowed to just leave. To me that seems highly illegal and pretty much like a scam. What is the truth? Is she seriously allowed to just up and leave soon?

Asked on 6/28/13, 1:26 am

1 Answer from Attorneys

Eric Willison Law Office of Eric E. Willison

In Ohio, without seeing the terms of your lease agreement, there is no way that I can ascertain for certain what your and your roommate's rights are in this situation. However, most leases work on what is called joint and several liability, meaning that each roommate is responsible for performing all of the lease's obligations. If one roommate disappears, then the other roommate will be left holding the bag for all of the obligations under the lease. But the roommate left behind will have a claim for relief against the departing roommate for any actual damages the remaining roommate sustains.

Of course, getting a judgment in a court is one thing. Collecting on it is another. Best to ride out the situation as long as possible to get as much paid for under the lease obligations as possible and then part ways as soon as possible.

Make sure that when you leave the place at the end of the lease you comply with the lease's notification of intent to leave requirements and that you take pictures of the condition of the premises when you leave.

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Answered on 7/07/13, 1:05 pm

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