What to Do if Your Roommate Won’t Pay Rent

What to Do if Your Roommate Won’t Pay Rent

What to Do if Your Roommate Won’t Pay Rent


Renting an apartment or a place to stay is a common solution for people who do not own a house in a particular place. While renting comes with its perks, such as sharing expenses with roommates, potential challenges may also arise. One of these issues is when a roommate cannot pay their rent. This challenge can cause financial and emotional distress. If you are struggling with such a problem or want to be prepared if it happens, this post is for you. In this blog, we will discuss what to do if your roommate won’t pay rent.


The first step to take is to speak with your roommate about the issue. Approach them calmly and respectfully to understand why they can’t pay rent and see if there is a possible solution. If they have financial problems, suggest ways to help them get back on track, share budgeting tips, or help them look for a job. However, if the problem is due to negligence, irresponsibility, or they refuse to pay, you may consider taking legal actions.

The second step is to check your lease agreement. Your lease agreement should spell out the responsibilities of each tenant when it comes to paying rent, utilities, and other bills. If your roommate has consistently failed to pay rent, you can contact your landlord and explain the situation. The landlord can either work out a payment plan with your roommate or evict both of you from the apartment. Before this, ask your landlord if there are any other measures you can take.

The third step is to consider mediation. If your roommate refuses to pay but is willing to find common ground, you can opt for mediation. Mediation involves engaging a neutral third party to help you create a plan that works for both parties. This can be less confrontational and allows for open communication that can lead to a mutually acceptable solution. If you decide to do this, create clear goals and expectations beforehand.

The fourth step is to seek legal counsel or file a lawsuit. If your roommate continuously refuses to pay rent, and mediation fails, it may be time to take legal action. Consider hiring an attorney or researching your legal options if the amount due is significant or if your living space is jeopardized. Legal action can be stressful, time-consuming, and expensive, so make sure you’re backed by your lease agreement and signed documents.

The fifth step is to prepare for the worst-case scenario. If your roommate refuses to pay rent and legal actions have not produced positive results, you may have to move out. In this situation, make sure you speak to your landlord to explain the situation, give notice, and determine your last month’s rent. You can also explore subletting or finding a new roommate to take over your lease.



Living with a roommate can be a great experience. It can provide affordable housing, new friendships, and emotional support. However, if your roommate won’t pay rent, it can be a challenging situation. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to resolve the problem, from speaking with your roommate and checking your lease agreement to exploring mediation or seeking legal action. Dealing with an uncooperative roommate can be stressful, but taking appropriate steps will ensure you get the best possible outcome. If you're looking for apartments in Wilmington, NC, contact Beaumont Oaks at Porters Neck today to schedule a personal tour.

To Top