How best to protect myself if I’m moving out early but my roommate’s are staying?

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How best to protect myself if I’m moving out early but my roommate’s are staying?

I am breaking my 1 year lease a few months in advance. On the lease it holds me responsible for paying the remaining sum of rental fees. However, I spoke with my landlord and my roommates are willing to take on responsibility for my portion of rent. Should I write 2 separate agreements and have them notarized – 1 with my landlord and 1 with all of my roommates? Does everyone involved need to be present?

Asked on October 26, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Ohio

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

You can ONLY be released from your lease obligations if ALL parties to the lease--fellow tenants and landlord--agree to release you. So if you are to be released, you need the other tenants and the landlord to all sign something releasing you from the lease.

Alternately--though not as good--if the landlord will not do this but your other roommates will, have them signing something agreeing to pay your share of the rent (and any other costs, such as utilities, for which you may be liable). This will not prevent the landlord from trying to collect from you if not paid, but it will help you recover money from your roommates if they don't honor this commitment.

The agreements do not need to be notarized, and everyone does not need to sign together; but if you have a written lease at present, you need something in writing with signatures on it to modify or release your obligations.


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