If I have a roommate who is going to move to another state due to work, are they still responsible for paying their half of the rent?

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If I have a roommate who is going to move to another state due to work, are they still responsible for paying their half of the rent?

We both signed a 1 year lease on an apartment. I plan to stay and complete my part of the lease. Can the landlord evict me since I am only will be paying half of the rent? Will I have the burden to go after my roommate or is that the landlord’s responsibility?

Asked on June 29, 2015 under Real Estate Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

1) Yes, your roomate must pay rent for the entire remaining period of the lease term--it does not matter that he is moving for a job, and relocating for a job is not a defense to a tenant's lease obligations. if he does not pay and you are either evicted (see below) or have to pay his share to avoid eviction, you could sue him for breach of contract (violating his obligations under the lease, to which you are a party) and seek compensation.

2) If the landord does not get all the rent for unit, you may be evicted. It does not matter that you "should" only have to pay half; under the terms of the lease, the landlord is entitled to a certain amount of rent for the unit, and if he does not get that, may evict. However you and your roommate split the rent is irrelevant in this regard: the landlord is entitled to the full amount of rent each month from somebody and may evict if he doesn't get it.


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