If I was never written on a lease am I legally bound to still pay my share for the remainder of the length of the lease?

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If I was never written on a lease am I legally bound to still pay my share for the remainder of the length of the lease?

I moved in with my girlfriend back 6 months ago. She was the only name on the lease. We broke up and I moved out last month but still paid her for my share of this month’s rent to help give her time to either find another roommate or figure out what she wanted to do. Now, she is telling me that she will find a lawyer to make me pay my share of the remaining 6 months on the lease. What are my legal rights in this?

Asked on December 13, 2011 under Real Estate Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Without a lease, you would have been a subtenant of your girlfriend--who is the only actual tenant of the landlord, according to what you have written--under an oral (or verbal) sublease. An oral lease or sublease creates a month-to-month tenancy; with a month-to-month tenancy, either party (landlord or tenant; or tenant and subtenant, as the case may be) can terminate the tenancy on 30 days notice. Therefore, from what you write, your obligation was to provide 30 days notice--not to pay for three remaining 6 months.


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