If there are 2 people on a lease, can only 1 of them be evicted?

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If there are 2 people on a lease, can only 1 of them be evicted?

My boyfriend and I live in an apartment together and the landlord wants to evict just me. We both signed the lease. They say that they have complaints against me from other people that live here. Can they evict just me or do they have to evict both of us?

Asked on September 30, 2010 under Real Estate Law, Wisconsin

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Read the lease. Does it say that you are "jointly and severally liable" under it?  Then that means that you can both be held accountable for things together and separately.  I think, then, that they can try and evict one of you.  I would take the lease to a tenant's rights organization for help.  Have them look at it and then you can have some idea as to what the basis for the eviction would be under the lease (the landlord needs to be able to point to something in the lease to give him a "cause of action" to proceed with the eviction).  And if they are basing it on the complaints of neighbors then you have a right to see those complaints and question those that are accusing you.  Good luck. 


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