Under what circumstances can a roommate be removed froma lease?

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Under what circumstances can a roommate be removed froma lease?

We have 3 people on a lease “jointly and severally as individuals”. 2 of us are having problems with the 3rd. For example, she continues to set the thermostat at a temperature that causes most of the suite to be at 80 degrees. A person other than this problem person pays the rent monthly to the landlord. This problem person continually pays their portion of the rent late.

Asked on November 29, 2011 under Real Estate Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

The person may only be removed from the lease with the agreement with *all* parties to the lease--which means the two other roommates; the person herself; and the landlord as well. Since a lease is a contract, all the parties to it must agree to changes, such as removing a party. You can certainly discuss this with everyone.

The landlord--but not you, as roommates--may also be able to evict this person if she violates material terms of the lease; of course, depending on how the lease is structured, the landlord may end up trying to evict all three of you. (For example: say that the lease says that the 3 of you jointly owe $1200/month in rent. Even though you have divided that $400/$400/$400, from the lease and landlord's perspectives, it's a total  of $1,200/month for the apartment. If she doesn't pay her $400 one month, it's not that she's in violation of the lease--all three of you are.)


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