Roommate not paying rent?

If my roommate does not pay rent, will I be responsible for the full rent amount? It depends on whether the roommate is a party to a lease and the type of lease you have. If you and your roommates are listed together as a parties to a written lease, then you are co-tenants.  Each co-tenant is jointly responsible with the other co-tenant(s) for all of the lease obligations.  This means if the co-tenants don’t pay, or if they damage the property, you can be held liable to the landlord for the full amount.  However, if each roommate has their own lease (i.e. per-bedroom lease) then you are not a party to your roommate’s lease and will not be responsible for the roommate’s obligations to the landlord.

If you have sublet space to your roommate, with or without the landlord’s permission, you will be fully responsible to the landlord for the roommates rent and any damages he/she may cause.  In Texas, subletting the property, even a bedroom, without the landlord’s permissions is a violation of state property code.  Allowing unauthorized occupants, whether they pay rent or not, is probably a breach of your lease and will leave you fully liable for rents, property damage, etc.  If you have an issue or concerns with a roommate, contact Andrew Bernick for a consultation at 512-763-5370 or email

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