College student... Financial mess... Need advice...

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YoungBuck
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College student... Financial mess... Need advice...

Post by YoungBuck » Sat Nov 04, 2017 5:25 am

This is a long post but I am stuck and I need help figuring this out. I made some serious mistakes that are ruining my financial situation. I am struggling to find a way forward, to get my life back on track. I don’t know what to do.

A little about me... I am 25, a senior in college, working full-time and going to school part time. I am close to graduation with a major in chemistry at a highly regarded university. I earn about $700/week gross with my primary job, mostly on site with the flexibility to go to class when needed and flexibility to work remotely for some of the work that I do. My second job is part-time, fully remote, done by computer on my own time. I earn $242/week for that job. I also drive for Uber when I have the time, but lately I have been too busy with work and school to Uber for extra money.

This past summer I decided to rent an apartment with my girlfriend. Our relationship has been up and down but at the time it felt like the right move. We are located in a very expensive city. We felt very fortunate to find a very basic, small 1 bedroom apartment in an old building for $1400/month. We both signed the one year lease and were planning on sharing the cost. My girlfriend works (but very erratically, switching Starbucks type jobs quite frequently) and was going to pay half the rent. However, she likes to buy expensive things and I usually ended up paying most or all of the rent and also buying her all the things she wanted.

The stress of our financial struggles has become worse each month and I cannot do this any more. Taking care of her needs led me to spend too much on my credit cards. We recently broke up, I moved out at the end of October, and I now live with relatives rent free.

My problem is that both of our names are on the lease. My ex-girlfriend is not financially responsible and likely won’t have enough money to pay the rent each month. Her friend was planning to move in to share the cost, but within 48 hours that plan fell through. The lease is not up until June, 2018. For November, she tried to manipulate me to feel sorry for her to get me to pay the entire rent. I stood my ground and told her if she didn’t come up with her half, the rent would go unpaid. She finally came through with 700 cash and I paid 1400 to our very unhappy landlord on November 2. I want to insist she find a new place to live, but she doesn’t want to cooperate.

The landlord knows that I am the responsible one. He threatened to sue me if I don’t keep paying the rent. My ex-girlfriend is refusing to move out. The apartment would likely rent very quickly if it became available as it is quite affordable and well located for this area. I don’t know what to do. I need to pay off all the credit card bills I ran up living with her. If the rent is not paid it would take a couple of months for her to be evicted. I could end up with ruined credit, a judgment against me, and an eviction on my record making it difficult to rent in the future. I cannot figure out how to extract myself from the mess that I have made. 7 more months at $1400 per month is another $9,800. And if she refuses to move out when the lease is up, I am still worried an eviction will go against my name since I signed the original lease.

I need help figuring out what to do. I have to go to work now but I will respond when possible.

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BolderBoy
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Re: College student... Financial mess... Need advice...

Post by BolderBoy » Sat Nov 04, 2017 10:35 am

This is the kind of case that Judge Judy is made for. The show pays any judgment awarded.
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btenny
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Re: College student... Financial mess... Need advice...

Post by btenny » Sat Nov 04, 2017 10:52 am

It is cheaper to keep her. You really have no financial alternatives. You cannot afford to pay for her lease and a new place for you and some credit card bills. Move back in with your girl friend for at least 7 months until the lease is over. Do what ever you have to to make up with her for now. "You have to lie in the bed you made" is an old timer saying. So I suggest you do that for now. Just get your stuff back into that apartment. Plus if you are there you can stop her from damaging the place or doing other bad things.

Then do not renew the lease and move when it is over. Rent a new place at that time. Then you no longer have eviction issues or overhanging lease costs.

Good Luck.

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bligh
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Re: College student... Financial mess... Need advice...

Post by bligh » Sat Nov 04, 2017 10:53 am

Perhaps someone on this board or in your friend circle will know of a way to get you out of paying for that rental. However, when you signed that lease you made a financial commitment. You want to break that financial commitment but are worried about the consequences.

It's a tough situation but it happens, people make financial mistakes, especially when they are young. You are lucky if it is only a few more months on a rental lease. Alternatively you and your ex need to try to be civil and continue as room mates for a few more months.

In and of itself I wouldn't call this being in a financial mess, but I guess the real question is, how much debt do you have on your credit cards? Student loans? Car loans? How much do you have in savings?

Traveller
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Re: College student... Financial mess... Need advice...

Post by Traveller » Sat Nov 04, 2017 11:10 am

I dont think you have many options at this point. Is there an early termination clause in the lease? Have you made an offer to the landlord asking to break the lease early? Maybe something like 3 months rent and forfeit the security deposit. But your ex GF will need to agree to leave as well. Your only other option is to keep paying it. If it was me, I'd try to get her out and I'd move back in myself. Then consider finding a more reliable roommate.

In the grand scheme of things, this isnt so bad - I've made far bigger and more expensive mistakes. Learn from this and move on.

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Pajamas
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Re: College student... Financial mess... Need advice...

Post by Pajamas » Sat Nov 04, 2017 11:36 am

Your situation is not unusual. Review your lease as well as state and local laws regarding tenants and see if there are any local tenants rights organizations or legal advice available. You may be able to find a subtenant to take over the lease or your landlord may be required to find another tenant if you both move out. However, it sounds like your landlord may not be willing to let you off the hook easily even if you could find someone to replace you as a co-tenant on the lease.

In a worse-case scenario, you might end up being liable for the entire rent and any damages. If it looks like that is going to be the case, you might have to take action against your ex. Try to separate the relationship issue from the business issue as much as possible for your own sanity, but it seems like you would either need or would greatly benefit from her cooperation in any scenario. You might prefer written communication over telephonic communication and consider not interacting with her face-to-face without having someone else there as a witness.

delamer
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Re: College student... Financial mess... Need advice...

Post by delamer » Sat Nov 04, 2017 12:16 pm

Pajamas wrote:
Sat Nov 04, 2017 11:36 am
Your situation is not unusual. Review your lease as well as state and local laws regarding tenants and see if there are any local tenants rights organizations or legal advice available. You may be able to find a subtenant to take over the lease or your landlord may be required to find another tenant if you both move out. However, it sounds like your landlord may not be willing to let you off the hook easily even if you could find someone to replace you as a co-tenant on the lease.

In a worse-case scenario, you might end up being liable for the entire rent and any damages. If it looks like that is going to be the case, you might have to take action against your ex. Try to separate the relationship issue from the business issue as much as possible for your own sanity, but it seems like you would either need or would greatly benefit from her cooperation in any scenario. You might prefer written communication over telephonic communication and consider not interacting with her face-to-face without having someone else there as a witness.

Good advice. You need some legal help on this. I am sure you don't want to pay a lawyer, but it is cheaper than the $9800 and potential credit issues.

EDIT: The later comments suggesting you pay her to move out of the apartment have a lot of merit. Maybe $1500 if she is out by November 30 and/or $1000 if she is out by December 31. Then you take over negotiations with the landlord.
Last edited by delamer on Sat Nov 04, 2017 4:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Big Dog
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Re: College student... Financial mess... Need advice...

Post by Big Dog » Sat Nov 04, 2017 12:21 pm

if you are paying for it, might as well move back in -- or threaten to.

Pacman
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Re: College student... Financial mess... Need advice...

Post by Pacman » Sat Nov 04, 2017 12:41 pm

YoungBuck -

When I was enrolled at a major college, the school provided free legal advice to students. I had to use this service and they wrote a letter to a landlord who was trying to overcharge us for 'damages' to the apartment. You may want to see if your school offers this.

aristotelian
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Re: College student... Financial mess... Need advice...

Post by aristotelian » Sat Nov 04, 2017 12:51 pm

Very sorry for you situation, but you have made the right move to get this person out of your life and learned an expensive lesson about mingling finances before you are ready.

I think you need to move back in. She might trash the place if you aren't there, and being there at least gives you some control.

I would not get into it any more over money with her. Assume you are going to owe the full balance of the lease, and then plan accordingly. If you want to pursue it, you could go after her in small claims when (not if) her share goes unpaid.

Have you tried buying her out of the lease? There might be a number she would agree to, anything to get her out, and then look for a roommate.

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celia
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Re: College student... Financial mess... Need advice...

Post by celia » Sat Nov 04, 2017 1:01 pm

Whatever you do, you need to start by getting on cordial terms with the ex, so that she will cooperate with you. Can you help her find another place to stay, like with her friends? If you move back in, she might agree to something like that if she doesn't want to live with you. Then either get her key back or ask the landlord to change the locks.

If you can do this (I know it is a HUGE "IF"), then ask the landlord if you can break the lease or sublet the apartment, even if at a loss (you pay the difference).

Also, if you find anything that was charged on the credit cards that can be returned, return it. A lot of people never return anything they buy even if it ends up being unused/unwanted/wrong size, etc. I find that wasteful.

In the long term, you will probably look at this as one of life's lessons. It hurts now, but you will benefit from it in the long run.

retire57
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Re: College student... Financial mess... Need advice...

Post by retire57 » Sat Nov 04, 2017 1:21 pm

Just accept the fact that you will be stuck with the rent for the duration of the lease. The good news is that you have a place to live in the meantime. Life lessons can be painful and expensive. Get through this tough time and move on.

hightower
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Re: College student... Financial mess... Need advice...

Post by hightower » Sat Nov 04, 2017 1:30 pm

I agree with the comment above that you should tell her she either starts paying you regularly or you move back in and find a roommate of your own. You've been paying for it. You are the one that the landlord is threatening to sue, therefore you have the right to live there and kick her out. Stand your ground. Tell her the truth, which is that you can't afford the place on your own and it's ruining your finances and that you need a roommate who can reliably split the rent. In the future, don't sign up for an apartment that costs 100% of your take home pay in rent each month even with a room mate, because as you now know, roommates can screw you over and leave you with the bill. Good lesson to learn while you're young. You'll be fine in the end though.

emanuel_v19
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Re: College student... Financial mess... Need advice...

Post by emanuel_v19 » Sat Nov 04, 2017 1:39 pm

Crudely said, man up and pay the consequences.

I too was in a familiar position back in college but I paid my dues and feel much better now.

Wayyy better in fact :sharebeer

Good luck :happy

Pacman
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Re: College student... Financial mess... Need advice...

Post by Pacman » Sat Nov 04, 2017 1:46 pm

aristotelian wrote:
Sat Nov 04, 2017 12:51 pm
Very sorry for you situation, but you have made the right move to get this person out of your life and learned an expensive lesson about mingling finances before you are ready.

I think you need to move back in. She might trash the place if you aren't there, and being there at least gives you some control.

I would not get into it any more over money with her. Assume you are going to owe the full balance of the lease, and then plan accordingly. If you want to pursue it, you could go after her in small claims when (not if) her share goes unpaid.

Have you tried buying her out of the lease? There might be a number she would agree to, anything to get her out, and then look for a roommate.
I literally do not understand this response. "Congratulations on getting this person out of your life - by the way, I think you should move back in with her." The biggest risk to the OP is not the financial loss with the rent situation, the biggest risk is getting back with the girl due to being in proximity, and being her meal ticket.

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Tamarind
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Re: College student... Financial mess... Need advice...

Post by Tamarind » Sat Nov 04, 2017 1:49 pm

Traveller wrote:
Sat Nov 04, 2017 11:10 am
I dont think you have many options at this point. Is there an early termination clause in the lease? Have you made an offer to the landlord asking to break the lease early? Maybe something like 3 months rent and forfeit the security deposit. But your ex GF will need to agree to leave as well. Your only other option is to keep paying it. If it was me, I'd try to get her out and I'd move back in myself. Then consider finding a more reliable roommate.

In the grand scheme of things, this isnt so bad - I've made far bigger and more expensive mistakes. Learn from this and move on.
This is a good idea, especially if the landlord is aware you are the responsible party. Can you line up a *reliable* friend to take over the lease? Plus offer a little extra and promise to help remove your ex from the property? I'd take that deal if I were your landlord.

In 10 years I promise you'll look back and laugh. In the meantime, try to do right by all those involved to the best of your ability, even your ex, and think twice before making financial commitments with a partner who hasn't demonstrated their ability to pull their own weight.

"Pulling your own weight" doesn't have to mean bringing in half the money, by any means, but it does entail being realistic about what one can contribute and keeping promises.

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Pajamas
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Re: College student... Financial mess... Need advice...

Post by Pajamas » Sat Nov 04, 2017 1:50 pm

hightower wrote:
Sat Nov 04, 2017 1:30 pm
You've been paying for it. You are the one that the landlord is threatening to sue, therefore you have the right to live there and kick her out. Stand your ground.
Not necessarily and that could cause more trouble for him legally and financially than he already has. In many places it is very difficult to get someone out of a property if they have even a tenuous claim of living in it. It can take going to court and many months to kick someone out even if they are squatting with no legal right to occupy a property, and she actually has her name on a lease. He should definitely read his lease and look at the local and state laws regarding tenancy and possibly seek further advice from a tenants rights organization or legal clinic.

TravelforFun
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Re: College student... Financial mess... Need advice...

Post by TravelforFun » Sat Nov 04, 2017 2:06 pm

Have you tried to offer a small sum of money for her to move out? May be $3k? With your degree you will make a lot of money after you graduate and this will be just a small blip on your financial radar but a great lesson to never cosign for or with anyone again.

You made a smart move by detaching yourself from this individual. You can only be successful if you and your partner pull the wagon in the same direction.

TravelforFun

WL2034
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Re: College student... Financial mess... Need advice...

Post by WL2034 » Sat Nov 04, 2017 2:15 pm

This sounds like you are going to take your lumps one way or another and come away with a life lesson. Don't co-sign a lease with someone who isn't financially responsible. The good news is you can afford it, and it is small change in the long run.

Start negotiating, first with her and then with the land lord. You are smart, and you know both parties better than we do. If you get her to move out, perhaps the landlord will only make you pay the rent until they are able to rent the place again? Or perhaps you can sub-lease? What will it take for her to move out? If she doesn't move out, you are probably stuck with $700 x 7 months, at least.

On the bright side, you are living with family for free, so you are still paying the same $700 / month rent that you've been paying.

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whodidntante
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Re: College student... Financial mess... Need advice...

Post by whodidntante » Sat Nov 04, 2017 2:23 pm

WRT to the lease you likely liable for the full rent no matter if she contributes. The landlord doesn't care about the agreement with your ex-girlfriend.

If you had a verbal agreement with your ex girlfriend that she would pay half, that is a separate contract, and you're free to sue her if she doesn't pay. I really doubt it's worth the trouble. You might not be able to establish that you had that specific agreement, and it sounds like she simply does not have the money. An unpaid judgement would really damage her credit for several years, if you want to be vindictive.

As far as mistakes go, this isn't very bad. Try marrying the wrong person.

aristotelian
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Re: College student... Financial mess... Need advice...

Post by aristotelian » Sat Nov 04, 2017 2:26 pm

Pacman wrote:
Sat Nov 04, 2017 1:46 pm

I literally do not understand this response. "Congratulations on getting this person out of your life - by the way, I think you should move back in with her." The biggest risk to the OP is not the financial loss with the rent situation, the biggest risk is getting back with the girl due to being in proximity, and being her meal ticket.
Move back in does not mean get back together. His name is on the lease so he is liable for anything she does in the apartment. He needs to be there. If he can buy her out, that would be ideal.

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CAsage
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Re: College student... Financial mess... Need advice...

Post by CAsage » Sat Nov 04, 2017 2:42 pm

I would NEVER suggest moving back in. This sets YoungBuck up for more manipulation, awkward situations, possibly more financial harm downstream.... Your second worst financial hit is you are liable for the full rent for 7 more months, plus damages (kiss off that security deposit). Your third worst is you are liable for half that amount. I do not know what sort of hit on your credit record defaulting on a lease would really be (love to hear from landlords on this one), but I know people that walked away from underwater mortgages and bought another house.

I would open a discussion with the landlord, and see if he is open to sub-leasing or breaking the lease early, possibly with a penalty. I would also offer Miss Toxic some cash to pack her stuff and move out.

The very worst (omitted from above)... think palimony, child support, identity theft, more credit card misuse, whatever. This is not a person you want to get closer to - civil yes, supportive yes, keep talking to get her out but don't move back in. Sends all the wrong signals that she can make it work out....
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JGoneRiding
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Re: College student... Financial mess... Need advice...

Post by JGoneRiding » Sat Nov 04, 2017 3:26 pm

I have a friend that ended up in this situation too, unfortunately she was female and the male was threating her general well being but she also couldn't make him leave the unit. If enfolded EXACTLY like you predict in your OP.

You have a couple of options :
1) you move back in and some how convince her to leave ( I rec bribary) and find another roommate you can more easily remove and or convince the LL to allow you to break the lease or sublet

2) you allow it to unfold now (will cost you the least) and accept all the bad things on your record you listed, some LL in the future will understand--maybe get this LL to write a letter saying you cooperated but your girlfriend did not (yes the LL will legally have to evict you both)

3) you pay rent for a place you don't live in for the next 6 months and most likely end up in 2 anyway because she has gotten use to free rent and sees no reason for the gravy train to end.

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scubadiver
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Re: College student... Financial mess... Need advice...

Post by scubadiver » Sat Nov 04, 2017 8:35 pm

Try to make a deal with the landlord as someone else suggested. Maybe offer to pay two or three months of your half of the rent and forfeit the security deposit. If the landlord agrees, then offer your ex $1K to find a new apartment by the end of the month. Help her pack and move if you have to. It stinks, but you can manage your losses, end this situation before it spirals into something worse and be a bit wiser for the experience.

EDIT: Be sure to put it in writing if you manage to negotiate a deal with the landlord.

Good luck.

Scubadiver

VegasBH
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Re: College student... Financial mess... Need advice...

Post by VegasBH » Sat Nov 04, 2017 8:41 pm

No one has mentioned talking to her parents, grandparents, family. Anyone related to or close to her who would either help you or atleast address this with her? Thanksgiving is a wonderful time for famlies to turn up the pressure.

denovo
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Re: College student... Financial mess... Need advice...

Post by denovo » Sat Nov 04, 2017 8:48 pm

What state?

Traveler
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Re: College student... Financial mess... Need advice...

Post by Traveler » Sun Nov 05, 2017 11:38 am

Pacman wrote:
Sat Nov 04, 2017 12:41 pm
YoungBuck -

When I was enrolled at a major college, the school provided free legal advice to students. I had to use this service and they wrote a letter to a landlord who was trying to overcharge us for 'damages' to the apartment. You may want to see if your school offers this.
Same thing with my university. It's worth checking into and see if they offer free legal advice (most of their cases are related to landlord/tennant issues so they should be well-versed with similar situations).

deltaneutral83
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Re: College student... Financial mess... Need advice...

Post by deltaneutral83 » Sun Nov 05, 2017 2:01 pm

This is now a business situation. Offering her $1500 cash money to clear her stuff out and tell her it's waiting on her and it's all that you have and that "she wins." I bet your landlord will have it filled within 30 days or you could sublease. Up it to $2500 if that will get her out. She probably has a friend living there anyway that you don't know about.

I think the odds of reducing this $9,800 problem to less than $3k are high if you pretty much tell her "you win." You can't win with people who are willing to sink lower than you in a co-mingled account. She probably already has sub 600 credit and explaining this to her will only infuriate her further. Money talks, give it to her.

$9,800 isn't the best reason to tank your credit, keep that in mind if you were thinking about keeping your pride and playing tough.
Last edited by deltaneutral83 on Sun Nov 05, 2017 2:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.

soupcxan
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Re: College student... Financial mess... Need advice...

Post by soupcxan » Sun Nov 05, 2017 2:01 pm

YoungBuck wrote:
Sat Nov 04, 2017 5:25 am
The apartment would likely rent very quickly if it became available as it is quite affordable and well located for this area.
In most states, the landlord has a duty to mitigate his damages by re-renting the unit. So if you leave, and it sits vacant for a month while he gets a new tenant, all he can sue you for is one month of rent not the entire remaining term. And while it's possible he could sue you for $1400, that amount is pretty small and he may likely just move on. I suspect threats to sue are bluffing.

https://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia ... er9-5.html
Last edited by soupcxan on Sun Nov 05, 2017 3:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Sandtrap
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Re: College student... Financial mess... Need advice...

Post by Sandtrap » Sun Nov 05, 2017 2:26 pm

duplicate
Last edited by Sandtrap on Sun Nov 05, 2017 4:13 pm, edited 3 times in total.

neilpilot
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Re: College student... Financial mess... Need advice...

Post by neilpilot » Sun Nov 05, 2017 2:39 pm

Sandtrap wrote:
Sun Nov 05, 2017 2:26 pm

Who's name is on the lease? Yours only?
You missed the OP's comment that "We both signed the one year lease"

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Sandtrap
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Re: College student... Financial mess... Need advice...

Post by Sandtrap » Sun Nov 05, 2017 2:49 pm

duplicate
Last edited by Sandtrap on Sun Nov 05, 2017 4:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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TNL
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Re: College student... Financial mess... Need advice...

Post by TNL » Sun Nov 05, 2017 3:07 pm

I agree with all of the prior posters about offering her some amount of money, $1500-$2000, to get her out of the place. Then try to negotiate the situation with the landlord. If he can re-rent quickly, you can save yourself the amount of money outstanding on the lease.

I would NOT move back in and try to live with her. She sounds unstable. The last thing you need now is more trouble with her. Right now you have a business problem. If you move back in with her, she may try to continue to manipulate and get you to pay for more things. Then what if you say no and she calls the cops and lies and said you assaulted her? Now you have a business problem and a legal problem.

How much did you rack up on credit card debt? It sounds like you can scrabble by on the minimum payments until graduation. Then you can do an old fashioned Dave Ramsey debt snow ball and pay them off. If it's advantageous to you, look into a debt consolidation loan from Sofi or Best Egg and you may be able to pay the cards off in one fell swoop and then lock in a lower rate to Sofi or Best Egg.

You already made the right decision by coming here to ask for advice. Now you need to look at your actions and figure out how you are going to prevent yourself from getting into relationships with the wrong women going forward. I can see that you are a hardworking and intelligent person who is smart and going places career wise. You need and deserve to be with a partner who pulls their weight financially.

soupcxan
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Re: College student... Financial mess... Need advice...

Post by soupcxan » Sun Nov 05, 2017 3:25 pm

Sandtrap wrote:
Sun Nov 05, 2017 2:26 pm
soupcxan wrote:
Sun Nov 05, 2017 2:01 pm
YoungBuck wrote:
Sat Nov 04, 2017 5:25 am
The apartment would likely rent very quickly if it became available as it is quite affordable and well located for this area.
In most states, the landlord has a duty to mitigate his damages by re-renting the unit. So if you leave, and it sits vacant for a month while he gets a new tenant, all he can sue you for is one month of rent not the entire remaining term. And while it's possible he could sue you for $1400, that amount is pretty small and he may likely just move on. I suspect threats to sue are bluffing.

https://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia ... er9-5.html
+1
If you break your lease, move out, gone. The landlord is obligated to re-rent it out asap. It is in his best interest to do so or lose money. He can go after you for the difference but most landlords will not. At best, some demand letters, threats, maybe a letter from legal counsel which costs a few bucks. But, it costs more to go after you than it's worth recovering lost rent. I'm not suggesting dishonesty but simply to give you some idea of the "gray area" in tenant leases. If the case should go to small claims court (very few make it there), the majority of the time the court will settle in the renters favor. The idea is that the landlord has deeper pockets vs the renter who is struggling. A savvy, street wise, tenant can live in a premises rent free for quite some time if they know the system well. As a landlord, I would re-rent the unit asap and protect my income stream rather than go after a college student with limited resources. Simply moving out and leaving is a viable option in your situation. Do it nicely. Give the landlord a 30 day or even 2 week notice to vacate, prorate your rent. Try your best to leave on good terms. But realize you are not asking permission. Nor do you need to empower the landlord. Plead student poverty and untenable situation, thank the landlord for his support up to that point, then leave. You will, however, lose your sec.dep.
FWIW I have never held a tenant to their lease under similar dire circumstances. It's not worth it. It's cheaper to re-rent the unit asap and move on.
In 40 years of landlording.. . . tenants have adhered to their leases as many times as those that do not. It's part of the business if one has a large operation. Especially around the universities. I am simply gracious and thank them for giving me a 30 day notice. No big deal.
And, the number of couples, roomates, divorces, and so forth, with one party leaving, is "business as usual" as it happens so often.
Simple option:
Since the lease is under both of your names. Just stop paying. Leave. Your ex will either sublet or find a roommate or move out. Give a note or email the landlord that you are no longer residing and the lease will default to your ex.

Retired businessman, landlord, R/E developer.
J.
The wrinkle in all this is that OP needs to get the ex-GF out of the apartment ASAP so it can be re-leased. If he can't do that, he is stuck, assuming the lease makes him jointly and severally liable with ex-GF.

quantAndHold
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Re: College student... Financial mess... Need advice...

Post by quantAndHold » Sun Nov 05, 2017 3:30 pm

sandtrap is right. It depends on what state you're in, but most states require the landlord to make a good faith effort to rent the place out. An apartment in a popular location would be expected to be rented within a month or two, so if you can get her out, a month or two is all you would be on the hook for. Check your local landlord tenant laws for confirmation.

A landlord might threaten, but if you leave the place in good condition and they can rent the place to someone else, they're not likely to waste a lot of time trying to collect money from broke college students. It isn't worth their time.

Focus on getting her out. Then deal with the landlord and the lease.

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Sandtrap
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Re: College student... Financial mess... Need advice...

Post by Sandtrap » Sun Nov 05, 2017 4:04 pm

Okay. Here's the landlord's perspective and lease perspective.
I hope this is helpful.
It is not advice to OP, just a variety of scenarios to take.

Which is why I revise standard rental contracts within the boundaries of the landlord tenant code. And, put only One Name on the lease with couples or otherwise cohabitants. And, rent with a 6 months lease, unless a military clause, with automatic rollover mo-to-mo -- because I am only 45 days away from notice of non renewal of lease and solving any problem without contest. And, why, after 40 years, I am selling my buildings, retiring, and spending my time in "Bogleheadville" on a hammock. :D :D :D :D :D

Here goes: (combined from 1000's of experiences)

Girlfriend n Boyfriend (college student) BOTH sign a 1 year lease to rent an apartment in my building next to the University. (no longer have it)
Things happen, they no longer get along. Boyfriend approaches me and wants out. Girlfriend wants to stay. Boyfriend goes to stay with his buddies. Girlfriend, now an EX, stays and parties with her friends. No problem. Not the lst time. As long as the rent gets paid.

Boyfriend approaches me and wants off the lease, which means I have to sign a new lease with the girlfriend. Girlfriend refuses because exBoyfriend pays the rent and doesn't want to lose a good thing. Now has a girlfriend roommate who pays her under the table to stay in the unit. Boyfriend is a responsible fellow. Wants to do everything right. Asks me to end lease earlier and evict girlfriend. I'm in a bind. No can do. I can't evict the girlfriend "as long as rent is being paid" and house rules are followed.

Options/scenarios:
1. Rent not paid. Then 5 day notice. Then Notice to Vacate. Forfeit security deposit. Liable for "X" months rent until the unit is re-rented and I must show that I have put an ad in the paper or advertised it up for rent asap after it is cleaned up, if there should be a conflict in court. (All rental cases are case filed as if any could go to court one day. . . CIY policy). They are college students. My odds of collecting are zero. So I re-rent asap to preserve income stream and move on. Don't pursue the college students. If I send it to collectors I lose 50% and odds are even less. I don't want to ruin them. They're learning. So I move on.

2. College student approaches me that he has no choice but to move out but ex girlfriend will be staying. College student tells me that ex girlfriend will be responsible for the rent. I tell him, no. Since both names are on the lease, both are responsible. College student is stuck. Plays by the rules. Doesn't know his options or the gray area to play in. Wants to be the nice guy. Pays the rent until lease is up.

3. College student moves out. Girlfriend remains. College student pays for a while then goes broke. Rent falls behind. Girlfriend is issued a 5 days notice. then Notice to vacate. Security Deposit is forfeit. She and her friends move out. Place is a mess. It gets cleaned up asap and re-rented to preserve income stream.

4. College student and ex girlfriend get back together and rent continues to be paid until lease ends. They renew the lease, but this time I only put one name on the new lease. They eventually move to Indiana to get married and live with parents until finishing their degrees.

There are a million variations of this but this is the gist of it.
Substitutions: College student, military and girlfriend, husband and wife, three working guys, and so forth.

*Note: notice that nowhere in these scenarios is there mention of legal action, small claims court, or letters from legal counsel, or threats, or demands. Most landlords of significant experience realize that it's more profitable to save the unit, and re-rent asap to preserve income stream. Chasing folks who can't pay, don't want to pay, or no longer want to live there is a dead end every time.

Lessons?:
Never give up situational control and risk your finances. One name on future leases. Yours.

I hope this landlord's perspective is helpful or at least, mildly entertaining.
j :D

ps: If I were paying the rent, I would be living there to look after my premises. You can be "friends and live in separate spaces".
Last edited by Sandtrap on Sun Nov 05, 2017 6:58 pm, edited 2 times in total.

jumppilot
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Re: College student... Financial mess... Need advice...

Post by jumppilot » Sun Nov 05, 2017 4:30 pm

Don't move back in. That is not what you need. I've been in a toxic relationship and your goal is to get as far away as possible.

Since you made your bed by signing the lease, I'd continue to pay your half, but only half. If you're GF can't come up with the other half oh well. Let the landlord start the eviction process.

Once a new lease is signed by new tenants, offer to pay the back rent if you feel guilty. You could even let the landlord know of this before the eviction process is started - but it's the one missed rent check that plays his hand and forces him to start the eviction process.

But under no circumstances move back in. Your goal is to move on with your life.

Edit: just read the above post from a landlord. I own two properties and agree. If I missed one rent check but was able to evict and re-let in a short time period there is about a zero chance I'd get the law/courts involved.

paramedic
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Re: College student... Financial mess... Need advice...

Post by paramedic » Sun Nov 05, 2017 5:22 pm

Cash for keys.

She obviously has financial issues. Offer her $1500 or $2000 cash if she leaves and turns in her keys. Then coordinate with landlord to immediately change locks. Also try to negotiate a lump sum payment to landlord to end lease early.

Yes, it will feel financially painful to do this, but it saves you a lot of money.

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boomer
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Re: College student... Financial mess... Need advice...

Post by boomer » Sun Nov 05, 2017 5:24 pm

Another landlord here. I think the best and hopefully effective approach would be:
1. Figure out a way to get the girlfriend to move. Pay her, help her to move, etc. Unless this can be accomplished, the OP will probably need to pay at least half the rent for the rest of the term. He should tell the landlord in writing that he was definitely terminating at the end of the lease, and if the girlfriend wanted to stay, she would need to sign a new lease.
2. Approach the landlord and explain what is happening. Say that once the girlfriend is out, you will clean and help get the apartment into move-in condition. Ask the landlord to put it up for rent immediately and rent it, so that you can get out of the lease. Tell him you will pay rent until it is re-rented. Offer to have the property shown at a moment's notice. Also, part of the reason the landlord rented it for a year was so he wouldn't have to deal with the hassle and possibly costs of renting it again for a year. Maybe offer to pay for advertisements-if anyone still does that. Doesn't everyone just advertise on Craigslist now? Anyway, the more that you show the landlord your honest intentions and that you empathize with his situation, the more that I think he will be amenable to negotiating with you. Get any agreement in writing.
3. I would not want the landlord to start the eviction process. Any step in that direction takes time (more hassle) and also takes money from the landlord. I don't think that OP should count on the landlord not to bring suit just because he is dealing with a college student. There are landlords out there that will do things by the book, even when it isn't kind or rational. If a court awards a judgment it might award damages as well and the amount could be several times the original rent due. I think the OP would be better off to pay the full rent for the entire term to avoid a judgment. If he gets a judgment on his credit then it will have to paid or settled some way in the future, and it could definitely be a larger amount.
4. If the negotiation with the landlord fails, once the girlfriend is out the OP could move back in and get a different roommate for the rest of the lease. Also, as far as one name on the lease, they probably both had to be on it because it required both incomes to pay the rent.

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boomer
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Re: College student... Financial mess... Need advice...

Post by boomer » Sun Nov 05, 2017 5:25 pm

paramedic wrote:
Sun Nov 05, 2017 5:22 pm
Cash for keys.

She obviously has financial issues. Offer her $1500 or $2000 cash if she leaves and turns in her keys. Then coordinate with landlord to immediately change locks. Also try to negotiate a lump sum payment to landlord to end lease early.

Yes, it will feel financially painful to do this, but it saves you a lot of money.
Yes, this is a good idea.

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burt
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Re: College student... Financial mess... Need advice...

Post by burt » Sun Nov 05, 2017 6:49 pm

Just pay up.
A very cheap lesson regarding relationships.

burt

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Sandtrap
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Re: College student... Financial mess... Need advice...

Post by Sandtrap » Sun Nov 05, 2017 7:00 pm

boomer wrote:
Sun Nov 05, 2017 5:24 pm
Another landlord here. I think the best and hopefully effective approach would be:
1. Figure out a way to get the girlfriend to move. Pay her, help her to move, etc. Unless this can be accomplished, the OP will probably need to pay at least half the rent for the rest of the term. He should tell the landlord in writing that he was definitely terminating at the end of the lease, and if the girlfriend wanted to stay, she would need to sign a new lease.
2. Approach the landlord and explain what is happening. Say that once the girlfriend is out, you will clean and help get the apartment into move-in condition. Ask the landlord to put it up for rent immediately and rent it, so that you can get out of the lease. Tell him you will pay rent until it is re-rented. Offer to have the property shown at a moment's notice. Also, part of the reason the landlord rented it for a year was so he wouldn't have to deal with the hassle and possibly costs of renting it again for a year. Maybe offer to pay for advertisements-if anyone still does that. Doesn't everyone just advertise on Craigslist now? Anyway, the more that you show the landlord your honest intentions and that you empathize with his situation, the more that I think he will be amenable to negotiating with you. Get any agreement in writing.
3. I would not want the landlord to start the eviction process. Any step in that direction takes time (more hassle) and also takes money from the landlord. I don't think that OP should count on the landlord not to bring suit just because he is dealing with a college student. There are landlords out there that will do things by the book, even when it isn't kind or rational. If a court awards a judgment it might award damages as well and the amount could be several times the original rent due. I think the OP would be better off to pay the full rent for the entire term to avoid a judgment. If he gets a judgment on his credit then it will have to paid or settled some way in the future, and it could definitely be a larger amount.
4. If the negotiation with the landlord fails, once the girlfriend is out the OP could move back in and get a different roommate for the rest of the lease. Also, as far as one name on the lease, they probably both had to be on it because it required both incomes to pay the rent.
Good post, "boomer".
Always where the standard lease provisions meets the real world. Spreadsheets meets life. Tough one. Always a dice roll for everyone.
Courts award a judgement to collect. Thereafter collection is another story. "Sue for a ham sandwich. . . but can you collect>?" :shock:
Most seasoned landlords/property owners with 100's of units wouldn't bother but there's always that odd duck in the bunch.
Landlords in "Bogleheadville", a silent minority. . . . . . 8-)
Last edited by Sandtrap on Sun Nov 05, 2017 7:59 pm, edited 3 times in total.

blevine
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Re: College student... Financial mess... Need advice...

Post by blevine » Sun Nov 05, 2017 7:00 pm

Let the landlord evict her after non payment.
Then you can negotiate the damages to settle.

Grt2bOutdoors
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Re: College student... Financial mess... Need advice...

Post by Grt2bOutdoors » Mon Nov 06, 2017 8:47 am

burt wrote:
Sun Nov 05, 2017 6:49 pm
Just pay up.
A very cheap lesson regarding relationships.

burt
+1. Can you imagine if the OP married her? While it stinks, the OP should use this experience going forward, if there are problems early on in the relationship, cut bait and move on, don't think you'll be able to "fix it". You won't.
"One should invest based on their need, ability and willingness to take risk - Larry Swedroe" Asking Portfolio Questions

JGoneRiding
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Re: College student... Financial mess... Need advice...

Post by JGoneRiding » Mon Nov 06, 2017 9:28 pm

blevine wrote:
Sun Nov 05, 2017 7:00 pm
Let the landlord evict her after non payment.
Then you can negotiate the damages to settle.
The problem with this is the LL is legally required to evict them both! So that will show on the OP future rec when other LL run checks. Its in the OP's best interest to get her to move out on his own. The LL doesn't actually care right now because rent is paid.

OP you know her best personally I would move back in to reclaim the property and then move heaven and earth to get her out by Dec 1. Then you can negotiate with the LL as others have suggested. Most LL would be reasonable as long as in the end rent is paid by someone!

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Sandtrap
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Re: College student... Financial mess... Need advice...

Post by Sandtrap » Mon Nov 06, 2017 9:43 pm

JGoneRiding wrote:
Mon Nov 06, 2017 9:28 pm
blevine wrote:
Sun Nov 05, 2017 7:00 pm
Let the landlord evict her after non payment.
Then you can negotiate the damages to settle.
The problem with this is the LL is legally required to evict them both! So that will show on the OP future rec when other LL run checks. Its in the OP's best interest to get her to move out on his own. The LL doesn't actually care right now because rent is paid.

OP you know her best personally I would move back in to reclaim the property and then move heaven and earth to get her out by Dec 1. Then you can negotiate with the LL as others have suggested. Most LL would be reasonable as long as in the end rent is paid by someone!
If the OP deletes this rental history when applying to rent another unit, there will be no "black mark" because there's nothing to check. Depending on the state and area, there's no central database for rental history that LL can check in to. (shucks). And, if the OP doesn't need a recommend from this landlord. It won't matter what happens.
It would be difficult to remove the other lessee before the lease expiration because both have a legal claim to the premises. On a personal level perhaps. But as you said, the LL doesn't care as long as no house rules are broken, the unit is not damaged, and the rent is being paid on time and in full.
Again, there's no central database for LL as far as I know. So if the OP rents another unit, if he doesn't mention this rental unit and LL and incident, there's nothing to check up on. OP can simply say he was living with parents or friends Prior residence is not as strong a rental mark as ability to pay and other signs of stability. There's "by the book" and then there's a "monster gray area of business and things."
OP: don't worry if your ex wont' move out when the lease is up. When it's up, it's up. She can renew on her own and be responsible but you don't have to. It's a contract that expires. You simply give your 30 day notice to leave. If the girlfriend remains then she's living there illegally and the landlord has full resources to kick her out because she no longer has a lease.

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Re: College student... Financial mess... Need advice...

Post by tibbitts » Mon Nov 06, 2017 11:57 pm

I think the OP may need local legal advice at this point, even though that too will cost money.

mouses
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Re: College student... Financial mess... Need advice...

Post by mouses » Tue Nov 07, 2017 12:06 am

I would tell the landlord you are done with this situation and will not be paying anything further, except at most one or two months, that is half a month's rent for one or two months, so he has time to evict the ex-girlfriend and find a new tenant.

I would tell the ex that you are not going to communicate with her further and under no circumstances pay her a cent more for anything. She has been playing you for a sucker, Have more sense in future relationships and life in general.

If your credit gets temporarily trashed, so be it. That is the quickest and less stressful way out of this situation. Possibly you could rent a future apartment once you need to do that by paying a number of months in advance. Start saving more money for that.

YoungBuck
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Re: College student... Financial mess... Need advice...

Post by YoungBuck » Thu Nov 09, 2017 9:00 pm

Thanks to all for the helpful advice.

I told the landlord I’m done, out, gone, after I paid the November rent in good faith. The landlord issued a new lease to my ex girlfriend solely in her name. She is planning to find a roommate but that is not my concern. I’m just happy that my name is off the lease.

And the electric, gas, and cable has all been transferred to her name. Her cell phone was under a 2 year contract under my name, so I just paid off all the money owed on her expensive iPhone to allow me to cancel the service under my name. Now she owns the phone that I just gifted to her, and she is free to have service under her own name as she wishes.

In the end, I lost my 1400 security deposit, the 700 I paid for her November rent, and the 450 I paid off on her phone. Ouch! But I can move forward with a clean slate, without risking ruining my credit. It could have been a lot worse.

And as I said, thanks again to all for the helpful advice and in particular for the perspective of the landlords who posted.

delamer
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Re: College student... Financial mess... Need advice...

Post by delamer » Thu Nov 09, 2017 9:28 pm

YoungBuck wrote:
Thu Nov 09, 2017 9:00 pm
Thanks to all for the helpful advice.

I told the landlord I’m done, out, gone, after I paid the November rent in good faith. The landlord issued a new lease to my ex girlfriend solely in her name. She is planning to find a roommate but that is not my concern. I’m just happy that my name is off the lease.

And the electric, gas, and cable has all been transferred to her name. Her cell phone was under a 2 year contract under my name, so I just paid off all the money owed on her expensive iPhone to allow me to cancel the service under my name. Now she owns the phone that I just gifted to her, and she is free to have service under her own name as she wishes.

In the end, I lost my 1400 security deposit, the 700 I paid for her November rent, and the 450 I paid off on her phone. Ouch! But I can move forward with a clean slate, without risking ruining my credit. It could have been a lot worse.

And as I said, thanks again to all for the helpful advice and in particular for the perspective of the landlords who posted.

Congratulations! Sounds like you have an great perspective on the whole mess.

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