Can I be held “jointly and severally” liable for an unsigned lease if I move out?

I moved into an apartment that had been on a one year lease the day that lease expired. On that day, the lease turned into a month to month, per the terms of the written lease agreement, and one tenant moved out, I moved in and one tenant stayed on. The leasing company placed me on the lease (the old lease that had collapsed into a month to month), but I never signed the lease nor was I given a copy. I am now looking to move out. The leasing office is saying that I am “jointly and severally” liable for an agreement which I never saw or signed because I moved in, paid and acted like a tenant

Asked on October 26, 2011 under Real Estate Law, District of Columbia


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

At worst scenario since you never signed a written lease for the unit you are occupying, you are on a month-to-month lease. Meaning, you can (and should) give your landlord a thirty (30) day notice to terminate your lease and move on. You would only be responsible for one month's full rent if your other roommmates do not pay their share.

Keep a copy of the letter and termination notice for future need. Reference in the letter that the rental that you have is a month-to-month and that you never signed any written lease agreement.

Good luck.

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