Having a roommate is a common way to afford a better place to live at a lower price, but it’s a convenience full of possible legal problems. In many states, you must go through an eviction process to get rid of a roommate who won’t pay the rent, and in the meantime, you’re on the hook for it all. Sometimes roommates leave for understandable reasons, such as a job transfer or a marriage. In either case, unless the lease term is up, the old roommate's name will still be on it.
Contact the property management company or owner of the rental property and explain the circumstances surrounding your roommate moving out.
Ask the property management company or owner to consider revising your lease to remove the roommate’s name. Realize that it’s not usually in the property owner’s best interest to remove someone from a lease because the owner loses one legal possibility for debt collection. Be very polite when you speak to the owner or property management company.
Provide evidence to the property management company or owner that you can manage the full amount of rent without the roommate, or will provide a new roommate to replace the old one. The property management company or owner may require you to renew the lease agreement. You might be asked to sign a a new, full-term lease to effect the changes.
- Be very careful when selecting a roommate. Breaking a lease can affect your credit and your ability to obtain another rental unit.
- If your roommate does not pay the rent, seek the advice of an attorney. Do not change the locks or sell the roommate's property to pay the rent, or you may be liable for damages.
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