I moved out 4 months ago. Am I responsible for the utility and internet bills?

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I moved into an apartment in September of 2009 in order to help a friend out. She had recently broken up with the boyfriend that she was living with and they had resigned the lease, so I subleased the apartment from her ex-boyfriend so they wouldn’t have to live together anymore. In December of 2009 the internet in the apartment broke and because she didn’t use wireless, she had exclusive use of the internet from that time up until the she moved out in August 2010.

My roommate was a complete slob, got a new boyfriend that was always over at the house and adopted a pitbull puppy that chewed my things as well as went to the bathroom everywhere.

I decided to completely move out of the apartment in April 2010. I attempted to sublet again, but there was no one willing to live in the apartment. As soon as I moved out, my bedroom became the dogs room where my roommate kept the dog kennel, dog accessories and dog when she was not home. I paid the remainder of my rent, but now my old roommate is saying that I owe her utilities from April 2010 until August 2010 as well as a month for an internet bill that I had absolutely no use of since December 2009.

I should also mention that she feels I should pay the late fees on her credit card because she was behind on paying the internet and utility bills.

Her boyfriend also moved in (unofficially) shortly after I left the apartment.

I plan on paying her what I owe her (utilities up to April) but I’m wondering if I am responsible for any of the utilities and internet bill since the points where I was unable to use them. Neither of these bills are in my name.

Thanks!

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7 Responses to “I moved out 4 months ago. Am I responsible for the utility and internet bills?”

  1. REVA M says:

    If you had a legally binding contract to split the utilities through the end of your lease, you have to pay it even if you move out as you did not sublease and have someone take over the contract for you. You also have to pay the rent. It all depends on the contract you two agreed to and whether or not you both signed it. People sometimes lose because the contract wasn’t legal because they both didn’t sign it. I don’t see you having to pay the late fees on her credit cards though, if you need more money you get a job. If you also agreed to split the internet bill, then you would have to pay your half of that as well, regardless if you used it or not. You could have called a repair man, or bought a router and a long Ethernet cord if you wanted to use it. You could have demanded you share the wired cord. You could have done something to use the internet. Just because I don’t watch cable doesn’t mean that I can just not pay my cable bill. You didn’t do either of those things, which is not her fault. So your non use of the internet is from lack of interest in using as far as the court would be concerned.If you entered a contract agreeing to split that bill, then you have split regardless if you actually used it or not. It all depends on the contract you two signed. If you didn’t sign a contract, you’ll probably be able to get out of a lot of this unless she can prove that you two had this agreement (though probably not the rent). Remember, its not always what you know, it’s what you can prove.

  2. lightupthesky25 says:

    If the bills are not in your name, legally you are 100% not responsible for them – she is (or whoever’s name they are in).

    In a fair world, you shouldn’t have to pay for any utilities you didn’t use. Obviously you didn’t have any access to the internet since December, and you couldn’t have used any utilities after April because you didn’t live there. So you shouldn’t have to pay them. You also shouldn’t have to pay her late fees because she couldn’t keep up with a bill that SHE racked up.

    Legally though, if she can prove y’all had an agreement to split the utility bills through your tenancy, you would owe her half of the utilities until the end of your lease. If you were on the lease through August 2010, you would owe those utilities even though you moved out early (which technically broke the lease). I still don’t think you should have to pay her late fees – it’s not your fault she was irresponsible and had to pay the bills with a credit card. She could take you to small claims court over this, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see her win.

  3. the kid says:

    pay utilities for April, and then tell her to shove it.

  4. chatsplas says:

    Probably.
    If you subleased, you are liable for your share of utilities during term of lease. Of course once BF moved in, I would assume he is now subleasing. But legally, your name is on lease and LL can sue you for rent if she doesn’t pay. I’d suggest paying her something, to make her happy and to make sure she pays rent until the lease ends and you’re in the clear. Not necessarily what she wants, and not her late fees, but a little something.
    If there was a problem with the utility, you needed to contact the utility company, not cease paying.

  5. Kal says:

    If you didn’t use it, it isn’t your responsibility. If you pay her what you were present for, that’s good enough. And you defiantly don’t need to pay her credit card late fees. You didn’t even leave her hanging, she had her boyfriend move in with her, though unofficially, the extra payments should have become his responsibility.

  6. Josh says:

    Whoever has their name on the account is holding the bag with the utility company. If you owe the people that had the account they can take you to court.

  7. cowgrl says:

    Why isn’t her boyfriend paying for the utilities from April through August? He’s the one living there and using them, right?

    I agree with paying your share of the utilities through April. However, after you moved out, you shouldn’t be held responsible. Had you been the only one living there, or had the utilities been in your name, you would have cancelled them and thus accrued no bill. I don’t understand how she thinks you would owe her utilities when you were not using them.

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