Is it possible for me to terminate my lease with 30 days advance notice. Can I not pay the April rent?

My roommate is the lessor. On 02/01, she said that she had military training soon and her parent may come to our apartment and stay for 1 month. I replied to her that we should discuss this before she left to training. When I signed the lease, we had a verbal agreement that would not let any other person stay overnight in our apartment. She left and we did not have opportunity to discuss this issue. So I sent a text message to her to express that I declined to live with her parent. On 02/23, her parent arrived anyway at the apartment and they had a key to open the door. After 3 days, I called my roommate and sent a text message to her that requested compensation. I request free rent for this month but she did not reply. At that moment, I had pay last month’s rent. Then, early this month she replied to me through her parent that she rejected to give free rent for this month. However, her parent do not tell me until today.

Asked on April 24, 2017 under Real Estate Law, Illinois

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Yes, you have to pay this month's rent: your roommate's refusal to give you a free month's rent does not entitle you to now not pay a month's rent, since she was under no legal obligation to give free rent or other compensation. She is not just your landlord (since you are leasing from her, as she is leasing from the building owner), she is also your roommate, and any person who rents a unit may have guests stay with him or her so long as doing so is not forbidden by the express terms of a *written* lease. Therefore, since, in the absence of a written agreement to the contrary, she may have her parent stay in the unit; she is doing nothing illegal or improper and you accordingly lack grounds for compensation. (Note: in the future, get any terms which are important to you, such as guest or occupant restrictions, in a written lease.)
If you have a written lease with her, you will be held to the lease for the duration of its term (i.e. until its expiration date). If you have an oral lease, you are a month to month tenant and may give her 30 days notice you are terminating your tenancy and moving out, if you choose, but would have to pay rent for that 30-day notice period.


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