My ex moved put but is still on lease, what are my rights?

She moved out promising to pay her portion but now refuses to. She hasn’t lived there for 3 months and has caused about $1000 in damages to my motorcycle. She enters randomly to break or steal my things. Is there anything I can do to protect myself and my property? She refuses to take her name off of the lease. And from the research I have done it is unlawful to change my locks with her still on the lease. Is a restraining order the only form of legal recourse? What can I do?

Asked on July 16, 2012 under Real Estate Law, California


Cameron Norris, Esq. / Law Office of Gary W. Norris

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

I would negotiate with the landlord and get out of the lease.  They would probably just assume have you leave so they don't have to deal with any of this. 

Everytime she damages or steals anything you should call the police.  I am guessing that eventually she would be prosecuted but that she would get tired of police contact.

You could apply for a restraining order, but from the facts you gave me--this most likely wouldn't qualify for a restraining order.

If she has failed to pay her portion of the rent--you could sue her in court for breach of contract and request declaratory relief.  As part of the declaratory relief--the judge could declare that she has abandoned her interest in the lease.  Breach of contract and abandonment is really the only way to get her "off the lease" legally.


Best of luck.


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