Should the ex-roommate who moved away before the end of the lease continue to pay for cable with no subletter?

My roommate and I signed a lease from May 1, 2008 to April 30, 2009 to share a 2BR apartment. He was laid off from his job in December, and managed to keep up with expenses, but after a couple of months it was clear he'd have to accept a job he wasn't thrilled about in another city rather than wait for his ideal scenario.

So he moved out in the second half of February. He understood that he was responsible for his half of the rent, and had already paid his March rent by the time he left. He said he'd make an effort to find a subletter, and I agreed to help (and have helped), but with the market the way it is right now, and with me being a single guy with two cats in a walk-up 2BR that's not exactly cheap, no subletter has materialized.

(Whether or not I stay here and find another roommate for the brand-new lease as of May 1 is irrelevant to this post, except to the extent that a subletter could have renewed along with me if it were going well.)

We didn't address it directly before he left, but I assumed he understood he should remain responsible for certain utilities until and unless there was a subletter or April 30 arrived. I e-mailed him several days ago to let him know how much he owed from before he left - then a couple of days ago, I e-mailed a proposal:

I wouldn't feel right charging him for half of the electric and gas I'm using, but I did think he should pay for half the monthly basic service fee that ConEd charges just to have the electric and gas running. He agreed.

Then I said that since the cable (which includes internet) was a fixed cost whether he was here and using it or not, I felt he should pay for half until and unless there was a subletter or until April 30. After all, I didn't choose for him to leave, so I didn't think it made sense for my expenses to *increase* because of it.

He said he'd think about it for a couple of days. Tonight I got his answer:

"Thought about it. I'll split march. but not april. You can make the decision to keep cable for that month or not."

Who should be obligated to pay what portion of the April cable bill? Should I be required to make the choice between 1. paying both our shares or 2. canceling cable and internet service (plus the restart fees involved if I stay here when May 1 comes around)?
By Todd709 16 years ago :: Roommates
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