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In 2008, I signed a lease with a guarantor. My roommate and I never renewed it. Is my guarantor still responsible to pay?

Additional Information:

My roommate sublet his room which was against the lease, but he worked out a verbal agreement with the landlord. The subletter missed 4 months of rent and left. My guarantor is now being sued for his rent. My roommate and I never renewed the lease for 2009-2010. The landlord gave us the 2008 lease with the dates crossed out and “2009-2010” written in. Our signatures were already on it from 2008, but he made several marks for us to re-sign, which we didn’t do, and never gave it back. I know I am still responsible to pay my roommate’s half, but is my guarantor, since they only signed the 2008 lease? Also, is crossing out the dates on a signed lease and writing new ones fraud? Will that document even hold up in court?

ATTORNEY ANSWER:

I am not sure I understand how your “guarantor” fits into your case. Why didn’t the landlord sue you and your roommate first? It appears you and your roommate have a month to month lease since both of you did not sign a new annual lease. Either or both of you are responsible for paying the subletter’s rent unless the landlord agreed to collect rent directly from the subletter and relieved both you and your roommate in the case the subletter did not pay the rent. The answer to whether or not your “guarantor” is liable for any unpaid rent ultimately should be determined by the respective guarantee document. Your “guarantor” probably should meet with Massachusetts counsel to discuss the case.

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