How to break a lease with an unruly roommate?

UPDATED: Sep 18, 2012

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How to break a lease with an unruly roommate?

My daughter has co-signed a lease with another young lady who has turned out to be totally not how she described herself – she parties late and brings home her girlfriend’s late at night. She expects my daughter to be quite in the mornings when she is getting ready for school in return. How does my daughter get out of this lease. Front desk says her roommate must release her; her roommate says not a chance she has to deal with it. Can she take this to a small claims court and force the girl to release my her?

Asked on September 18, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Florida


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Unfortunately, problems with a roommate do not entitle a tenant to break his or her lease with the landlord; the lease, after all, is a contract between the landlord and the tenant(s), and so long as the landlord is honoring its obligations (e.g. providing the space it's supposed to), the tenants must honor their obligations (e.g. pay rent). Like any other contract, to modify a lease, such as by releasing one party to it, requires the consent of all parties--that is, the front desk is right and your daughter's roommate would have to agree to let her out of the lease.

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