Can I get in trouble if I don’t pay my sublease tenant rent?

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A question by lorena :  My boyfriend and I subleased an apartment from a college student, there was no contract, nor paper work and the landlord of the apartments weren’t aware that he subleased it to us. Now that we’ve moved out, he has sent us text messages threatening us to press charges and go to the cops if we don’t pay him rent that he says we owe. Can he do that??


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“It is difficult to know what this landlord wants to sue you for.

By no contract signed or paper work, is it safe to say you had not agreement with the person you were subletting from. We all know the landlord was unaware of this situation.

This landlord might threaten you on many levels. If he call the police the police would not take any action in any way. The police would recommend that this is a civil matter and would be required to be solved in a civil court.

Is this landlord making an attempt to sue you for past rent, as you did not pay the rent directly to the landlord, but to the person you were sub-letting from?

Sub-letting the rental unit apparently was illegal. If you were residing in the rental unit, this landlord might would have increased the rent and would be making an attempt at collecting this rent for the extra people living there.

Yes this landlord is able to sue you in small claims court for any financial damages he think he is out of or has been denied.

The question is will he win or not?

Some judges might rule you were staying there illegally, therefore you deprived the landlord of his rightful rent.

Some judges might rule that the tenants paid the rent according to the lease agreement, therefore he is not entitled to the additional rent.

Each of you would have to present your best case, and convince the judge you are the party to believe.”


“even without a written lease, you have a responsibility to pay the rent. You are in the wrong here. At the very least, you needed to give 30-day’s notice. And the 30 days start the first of the following month. So, if you moved out in July, you still owe for July and August in FULL.

Will the police do anything and can he press charges. NO. No criminal action was done here. Can he sue you in court of the rent! YES he can and he should. It doesn’t matter if you are subleasing or not. You didn’t give the notice required and you owe him money.”

real estate gu

“The police won’t get involved because that is a civil matter.

However, if you lived there longer than 30 days and/or received mail there and/or your landlord (the person you subleased from) has proof that you paid rent, he can sue you for the rent you owe.

Did you move out without giving proper written notice? If so, you owe August’s rent.”

Dr, FL landlord

“He can’t press charges for this, it’s a civil matter, not a criminal matter. But he could sue you in small claims court. And if that’s the case, the responsibility will be on YOU to prove that you DID pay rent, not on him to prove that you did or didn’t. So, what types of receipts or cancelled checks do you have that would prove that you did, in fact, pay all the rent you were supposed to pay?”


“This is why landlords usually forbid sublets. This is not a police matter so it is an empty threat. The legal issue is between the landlord and the tenant who sublet to you. He can’t sue you, but only the tenant with the illegal sublet. Good deal for you, bad for the landlord- he’s upset because he wants his lost rent money..”

“Not with the police. Your landlord may have legal grounds to sue you for unpaid rent because you didn’t offer the landlord written notice you were leaving, as required by law, but can’t sick the cops on you. The Police deal with criminal law, not civil law, and this is a civil law issue.”


“I take it from your post you mean the person on the lease from whom you assumed his rent payments–since you did not have a written lease with him and more especially since the landlord was not aware of any sublease, ultimately he is the responsible party, he will pay for the vacation of the premises, he will pay the early move out penalty etc, he can certainly sue you but you had no legal obligation with him except month to month”

“What can the cops do? He doesn’t seem to understand the difference of a civil suit. . .Without paperwork and your signature he doesn’t have a leg to stand on. It could be he didn’t have the right to even sublease. Let him call the police and when they come have them ask for paperwork. He can’t even prove you lived there.”


“The cops shall not act, this is not a criminal matter… the ex-roomie can sue if he so desires; if you truly failed to give proper written notice of intent to vacate i would say you deserve to lose/be ordered to pay… but nothing is certain…”

“Who is the “he” – the landlord or the person you rented from

The landlord cannot sue your cos he dont have a contract with you- his contract is with the original tenant

NOBODY can put the cops on you or charge you with anything – cos you haven’t committed an offence”

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