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 can you do?
STEP 1: CHECK YOUR 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.
STEP 2: GET REQUEST FROM ROOMMATE IN WRITING
Start by getting a request from your roommate in writing that they want to move out so this is on the record.
STEP 3: INQUIRE IF LANDLORD WILL LET REPLACEMENT TENANT MOVE IN
Ask if your landlord or property manager is willing to let a replacement tenant move in. If so, what is the process for this?
STEP 4: LOOK FOR A 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 applications. Be cautious about who you take.
STEP 5: COVER THE DETAILS
Be sure you have covered the details with the new potential roommate including who is responsible for what chores and who will make payments.
WHAT IF YOU CANNOT FIND A REPLACEMENT 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.
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.
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.