CanI be removed from a lease?
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CanI be removed from a lease?
My girlfriend and I signed a 1 year lease over a year ago after which we were living as tenants at will. Since this time my girlfriend has been approved for Section 8. Now she wants me to just up and leave the house and remove me from the new lease. First of all as I was a tenant in the first place and have never been evicted does this new lease even have any ground to stand on? Secondly, what can I do to keep my family and home?
Asked on June 13, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Massachusetts
SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney
Answered 10 years ago | Contributor
First, if you are tenants at will, or more properly month to month tenants, there is no "lease" to remove you from; or rather, there is an oral or verbal lease, based on the same terms as your prior written lease, and either the tenants or the landlord can terminate the tenacy on 30 days notice.
Second, based on the above, the landlord may end your tenancy with a month's notice and there's nothing you can do about that. However--and this is important--one tenant may not herself remove another from the tenancy. So you girlfriend can't make you leave; but the landlord can, which means that if the landlord agrees with what your girlfriend wants and wants to rent just to her, not to, he can do that.
In short, you have no rights, apart from the proper notice to terminate your tenancy, against the the landlord, in terms of being able to stop him or her from terminating your lease. The landlord may decide to evict you and rent only to your girlfriend, but your girlfriend has no power to do that herself. All she can do on her own is give her own 30 day notice to move out, but she can't kick you out--only the landlord, on proper notice, can do that.
You probably should look for other arrangments anyway, and/or see if you can get this landlord to put you on a written lease; as a tenant at will or month to month tenant, you have no real protection from eviction beyond the obligation that you get notice first.
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