If co-tenants both want to renew a lease that is about to expire but they don’t want to live with each other, who decides who gets to renew the lease?

My current 1 year lease (in San Francisco) is ending August 31 and I am a co-tenant with three other people on the lease. One of my roommates (Roommate A) is voluntarily moving out and I want to stay in my place with my other roommate (Roommate B) however we don’t want to continue living with Roommate C as she has guests stay over while she is out of town and on multiple occasions has left our garage door open for extended periods of time leaving our house is totally unlocked and exposed. She has no regard for safety/security and is now on many different medications (anti depressants, etc.).

Asked on June 28, 2012 under Real Estate Law, California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

There is no legal rule for determining this: it's up to the co-tenants and the landlord to work this out among themselves. If the landlord is willing to rent only to you and B (and anyone else you bring in), but not roommate C, for example, then that's what will happen; on the other hand, the landlord could decide only to rent to C, but not you and B; or to rent to none of you; etc. It's a matter for negotiation.

(Note: the above supposes that the current lease does not have some sort of automatic renewal term which affects the outcome; if there is such a term, you need to review your rights and obligations under it.)

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