If you rent an apartment with a roommate, you are both likely to be on the lease. But if your roommate wants to break the lease, what do you do? This guide will help answer some questions about how it works.
First, Who is on the lease?
A lease between a landlord/property manager and multiple residents typically holds each roommate jointly responsible until the lease term is completed. So, if one person decides to move out in between, the other individual(s) named on the lease can be held responsible for paying the rent.
Therefore, if the rent is not paid, all of the individual(s) named in the lease could potentially have their credit damaged (assuming the Landlord obtains a judgment for non-payment of rent) regardless of whether partial payments were made. Thereafter, an otherwise spotless credit history might contain a permanent stain. Find out who is on the lease and what the terms are.
What should you do when your roommate wants to move out?
There are some important steps to follow when your roommate wants to move out so there are no issues later –
- Start by getting a request from your roommate in writing that they want to move out so this is on the record.
- Follow this up by ensuring your landlord or property manager is notified of said roommate’s intent to vacate, and find out if landlord is willing to let a replacement tenant move in.
What should you do if you find a new roommate?
If you find someone who could potentially move in, be sure to interview them first to make sure there are no major red flags and that they can fit into your lifestyle where necessary. Then, make sure they get in touch with the property manager or landlord to fill out the necessary details and application before moving in.
What if you cannot find a roommate?
If you cannot find a roommate and cannot afford to cover the rent on your own, one option is to check whether the landlord/property manager has smaller properties more suited to your lifestyle. In this instance, you may need to find out whether there will be any penalties for breaking the lease.
The second option is to ask your roommate if they would consider paying for a few more months – giving you more time to find a new person to live with. Some residents may also choose to pay until the end of the lease if that is feasible for them, which might make things easier for you.
Will your roommate cover some additional costs?
When someone moves out in the middle of a lease, you are put in a tough spot with almost every bill including utilities, Internet, cable – especially if these are all shared costs. Perhaps ask your roommate to cover some of these costs since this has just become harder for you.
There’s no one size fits all way to deal with a roommate moving out in the middle of a lease, but this guide should help you better manage the situation so there is minimal inconvenience to you.