If I’m moving into an apartment with 2 other people and we will all be on the lease, is there a way to protect myself if one of them bails?

UPDATED: May 21, 2012

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If I’m moving into an apartment with 2 other people and we will all be on the lease, is there a way to protect myself if one of them bails?

I’m currently attending school, and the school provided living is expensive. For the same price we found an apartment where we would each get our own bedroom. We are planning to move out but I don’t want to get stuck in a lease and have one of them leave and the other 2 of us have to figure out how to cover what he owes.

Asked on May 21, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Utah


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

There really is no way to protect yourself from this. If one roommate breaches the lease and leaves without paying his/her share, the remaining roommates will have the right to sue him or her for the money he or she owed under the lease and pursuant to any agreements among the roommates...but while that is a way to recover money later, it does not protect you from the fact that you and your other roommate will be liable to the landlord (and so could be sued by him or her, if you don't pay) for the full amount of the lease.


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