I'm a student and I've co-leased an apartment with another person. It is a shared lease like students do all the time. My roommate leased another place and apparently he is not showing up for this place in spite he signed and agreed to the lease. What happens if he doesn't show up and doesn't pay his portion of the rent? I understand legally we are BOTH together responsible as it is a shared lease. But can I officially follow a lawsuit?

UPDATE: I'm in Illinois.

  • What jurisdiction? If the U.S., what state?
    – Mr_V
    Commented Aug 4, 2016 at 13:10
  • Illinois. I'm not sure what jurisdiction is though.
    – Mary
    Commented Aug 4, 2016 at 17:07
  • Jurisdiction is the geographic area over which a particular legal authority extends.
    – Mr_V
    Commented Aug 4, 2016 at 17:41

1 Answer 1


You have not mentioned your jurisdiction or details on the lease, but generally tenants are jointly and severally liable - which means that if he does not pay his share, the landlord can pursue you for it.

In turn, you should be able to pursue him for the courts for his share of the rent. (This does not mean you will get paid - but does mean you can try and get the money off him).

  • Depending on the jurisdiction, though - small claims courts may have no equitable jurisdiction. Would pursuing a cotenant for their share of the rent be a civil or equitable matter?
    – jimsug
    Commented Aug 4, 2016 at 6:49
  • @jimsug Maybe this should be another question. I'm unsure of exactly what you are asking, but i believe it would be a civil matter.
    – davidgo
    Commented Aug 4, 2016 at 20:31

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