Dallas, TX asked in Landlord - Tenant and Identity Theft for Michigan

Q: How to deal with a tenant not on the lease, and who is not paying any rent money.

I moved out of my apartment in Michigan, and found a guy to stay in it, and we had an agreement that he will pay me rent every month. He is NOT on the lease. He payed me for the months of October and November. He has, as of december, not payed me rent, and is not answering my calls.

My lease ends on March 30, and I want to pay it off early. Do I need to deal with him if he refuses to leave, if I payed off the lease early and have the move out date, I guess, expedited? Please let me know. I don't want to have to deal with this for longer than I have to.

I am in Texas, and will go there if I have to, for a few days, but can't stay for too long, as I have my job as well. I want to be there when he leaves, in the event he does some damage to the house.

I have him on identity theft as well. I changed my internet settings so that he cannot access it. He called them up, pretending to be me. I came to know this only because I got a notification. Can I use this to my advantage?

1 Lawyer Answer
Brent T. Geers
Brent T. Geers
  • Grand Rapids, MI
  • Licensed in Michigan

A: First, does your lease - the agreement YOU entered into with the landlord - allow for this arrangement (subleasing)? And if so, is the landlord aware that this is what's going on now? If not, the amount owed is between you and the landlord.

You could do as you're proposing: pay off the lease and notify the landlord that you're out. They could then evict this other person, who is now a squatter. But how do you go about collecting what is owed to you is another issue. To be frank, I don't know how or even if it makes much sense financially to ask a court to enforce an agreement that may not be lawful in the case that this sublease is prohibited by the lease terms. Now if this is a proper sublease, then by all means pursue collections by whatever legal means that may be available to you. Otherwise, the amount owed may just become a rather expensive lesson to you.

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