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Is someone legally bound by a rental lease agreement if they never signed the lease, but lived in the place?
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Is someone legally bound by a rental lease agreement if they never signed the lease, but lived in the place?

I have a friend who signed a rental lease agreement, but his two roommates put their names down, but never signed. All three got thrown out of the house and the rental management is now taking my friend to court for the rent and utilities, but not the other two guys. Now my friend is trying to get money from the two, but I don't know if he will be able to since they never signed the lease agreement. Please help!


The only one liable is the one who signed the lease

You arent bound to anything that you dont sign

If your friend can demonstrate that the other two guys received mail there or that the address was used as a mailing address for something like utilities, medical, or school bills; your buddy could get copies of those to prove in court that it was their legal residence over an extended period of time. Some of those items may even be laying around. He should be able to sue them for the amount due in civil court. He will need lots of proof, but it can be done.

game buddee
So they filled out the paperwork, but just never signed it... Hmm. Have they ever made a payment to your friend that can be documented?? If they had, I'd say that your friend could go after those two friends in a small claims court. But it would probably be tough... getting the money back that is.

Just remember, there is the concept of a verbal agreement. So if any payments were made (i.e. check that was made to your friend.. or cash with receipt written, or whatever... ) this implies that his/her friends had a contract with your friend of verbal nature. But that is between the two friends and your friend, not the landlord.

Good luck! - and be thankful you're learning about contracts ... the easy way. This is a small contractual mistake.. it may seem big, but not after you buy your first car or house.. or own your own business. Then it gets worse! :)

The ones who signed the lease are responsible for the rent and utilities. If your friend didn't sign the lease, then he's okay. They can't make him pay for anything as long as his name isn't on some sort of documentation.

If they didnt sign the lease, they are not legally obligated to pay. However, certain states have rules about legally being a resident if you stay there a certain amount of nights a week so I would talk to a lawyer to find out what the laws are in your state

I would say that only the ones that signed the lease is going to be sued. Why didn't he get his friends to sign the lease too? And if they were real friends, they'd cough up their part.

oh you're friend are ****

I think it may depend on the state...but usually it is only the person that signs the lease that is liable. The reason they put the other people's names down, is security/management wants to know who is or is not allowed to be in the apartment/house and on the premises. That is usually the only reason that their names go on the lease. Some places will allow for your friend to take the other roommates to court, since their being there/on the lease is an indication they lived there as well. But your friend will have burden of proof and unless there was some written agreement between the three of them...your friend will end up solely liable and at a huge loss in more ways than just financially.

They are not legally bound by the lease, since they never signed it.
The only one responsible is the one on the lease. If the two roommates are really responsible, they might be convinced to help the lease holder with the bills, but they are not legally obligated to do so.


Sorry, but whats on paper is what counts. Your firend is the one they will take to court, but his friends should reimberse him for their share of the money.

Since they didn't sign I don't think there is much that can be done with them. It sounds like that willbe a civil case. He would have to sue his

I agree with the other two people
since he was the only one who signed he is solely liable
if he took other people into the place he might be breaking the agreement (It should say if he can sublet or let more people live there)
since he did let others in it is up to him to collect whatever rent and utility charges they agree to from his roomates. since the landlord never agreed for them to live there or have them pay rent seperate then the landlord cannot collect money from them, it is all from your friend.

I hope they get him too. (see sources)

Yes. You have obvious evidence of a vocal contract. As in there is a standard agreement meant to bind anyone in the situation of the roomates, they obviously were aware of it and they obviously agreed to it.

Your friend will most definitely win a judgement against these two. However, collecting on that judgement is better said than done. This will crush their credit rating but require persistance on the part of your friend to contact the friend of the court, run discovery on their bank accounts and employment and get the sheriff to seize their assets or issue an order of garnishment to their employers.

Miss Vira
The only one signed is liable but your friend can take the other two guys to court for their part. Small claims court will work for this or TV court like Judge Judy or something.


its a bad way to find out who ur real friends are BUt yes he is libal as he signed the lease the others used him .
NEVER TRUST ANYONE when it comes to helping someone or taking thier word in a lease agreement . sorry... but he will have to pay and hopfully his so call fiends will help him out.

Unfortunately, the person who signed the lease is liable. He might be able to take the other 2 to small claims court based on verbal agreements, but he would need proof that the other 2 lived in the place and paid rent. Also, that they received mail at the address which is in conflict. Good luck!

Cecil J. Tallywacker
that doesnt make sense, 'put their names down but didnt sign the lease'....wtf is that? sounds like signing the lease to me.. u shoulda splained better

only signed is liable

Talk to an attorney or take them to small claims court. If it can be proven that they lived their and paid rent, the judge should rule that they pay even though they did not sign the lease.

a landlord
Yes, the two gentlemen who stayed in the apartment with your friend can be held liable for the past rent and utilities and any other expenses that were incurred during their stay and the eviction process. Tell your friend he can go to the local library and ask for the most current landlord/tenants rights book every state has one. But your friend is probably going to have to sue the other two if he is really serious about getting his money back.


If you're name is not on the lease, then you are not bound by the lease.

Actually the landlord has the right (in many cases) to end the lease if people are living in the apartment and their names are not on the lease.

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