Can I leave my apartment at the end of my lease even if my roommate doesn’t?

UPDATED: May 25, 2012

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Can I leave my apartment at the end of my lease even if my roommate doesn’t?

My lease with my apartment area is about to expire. I am currently a cosigner on the lease and would like to move out. My landlord is telling me that even though the lease is expiring, if my roomate doesn’t agree to move out that I am still responsible for rent and damages. Is this right even if I give the landlord and roommate 30 days notice?

Asked on May 25, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Nevada


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

If the lease expires, you are no longer liable or obligated under it. If you move out when it does, you would not be liable as a holdover tenant, even though your roommate would be liable if he/she does not leave. You are not liable for your roommate's bad or unlawful acts, except as you have agreed to be liable in the lease. Your liabilty as co-signor or co-tenant, though, will end when the lease ends--i.e. when you sign a lease for definite term, you are liable only for that term--unless and only to the extent that the lease itself provides for some continuing liability or obligation. So you should double check the lease, to see exactly and to what extent and for how long you are liable; but as a general matter, if you move out on time, you are not responsible for what occurs after the expiration of your lease.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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