How do I get an absenttenant off my lease?

My 3 roommates and I are bound to a lease than counts all of us as responsible for 1 total payment (rather than individual). It turns out that 1 of our roommates is on the run from the law and has not paid rent/utilities in 3 months. She also has not showed up and evades all contact. What can we do to get this person off our lease? Furthermore, another roommate wants to sublet but cannot without the consent of all roommates. Seeing as the runaway roommate cannot be contacted, this roommate cannot sublet. We also cannot sign any new tenants onto the lease.

Asked on November 28, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Georgia

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

If you have an absent roommate that has not paid rent or utilities for three (3) plus months, I would speak with your landlord about the situation and consider deeming the lease obligation by her abandoned and simply move another person in under an oral sublease with the three remaining roommates.

If the one roommate is not the run and you have nowhere to locate her, you will have a hard time serving her with a small claims court action for past due rent that you three (3) fronted as well as her share of the unilities. Before you sublease the room out to a new person, make sure you disclose the situation to the new tenant about the former roommate in writing and all four (4) of you sign the disclosure.


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