Washington, DC asked in Contracts and Landlord - Tenant for Maryland

Q: What can we do about it! How can we handle him?

I have a roommate. Both our name are on the lease

He left two month ago to live somewhere else without telling me. I found his room empty . leaving the keys and refusing to sign off the lease. I found someone else to cover the rent and he knew and said he was cool with it. Now he wants to come back after two months without paying any rent . And threatened to put us out. He want us to sent his deposit first before he comes to sign off the lease .

His name is still on the lease !!!

Our lease is supposed to end on February

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1 Lawyer Answer
Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley
  • Rockville, MD
  • Licensed in Maryland

A: Put in writing (letter, email, text--and save it as evidence) that he cannot come back and if he does attempt entry he will be charged with trespassing and breaking and entering. Trespass can only be charged if he receives notice to stay off your property, and you need to prove you gave that notice. He cannot "put you out" if he's not even on the lease and he's not the landlord. He terminated his tenancy when he unilaterally left and agreed to someone else taking his place and not paying the rent since he left; plus he's not on the lease because he refused to sign it. As for his security deposit, if you are not out rent and utilities for his early ghosting of you and skipping out on his agreed obligations, then tell him you will (1) refund it in 60 days, or (2) deduct what you're owed and refund the balance in 60 days, or (3) tell him he will get his security deposit back when the lease is over and you receive it back from the landlord. When the lease ends in February, make sure if you stay there that you sign a new lease without his name on it. If you feel immediately threatened by him physically, and can base that fear on specific acts or threats he has made, you may qualify for a peace order which would order him to stay away from you and your residence, which you can obtain from the District Court by downloading and filing a petition and having a hearing before a judge. In order to qualify, you will need to articulate specific acts of physical threats, assault, harassment (a persistent pattern of communication or contacts that seriously annoys another), or stalking. At least one of the acts must have occurred within the 30 day period before filing the petition. Violation of a peace order is a criminal offense that would result in his arrest.

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