What is the liability of a co-signer on a lease if the tenancy became month-to-month after the lease expired?

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What is the liability of a co-signer on a lease if the tenancy became month-to-month after the lease expired?

I lived in an apartment for approximately 4 years. I was recently evicted due to loss of income and fell behind on my rent (3 months). My dad co-signed for me at the1 year lease agreement. I was month-to-month after that year. My dad also has a representative payee in charge of his finances; is he still obligated to pay past rent? The lease with co-signer was for 1 year only. Can he get out of the co-sign agreement?

Asked on October 29, 2010 under Real Estate Law, Wisconsin

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Once the lease was over, such as by its term expiring and not being renewed by the agreement of all parties, your father would be not liable on it. He was only bound for what he agreed to be bound for, which was to act as cosignor on an initial, 1 year lease. If after that, you were on a month to month lease pursuant to an oral or verbal lease (or effectively no lease), your father would not be liable, since he would not have been part of that serious of 1-month-at-a-time agreements.

Arguably, if the original lease had some provision that it would renew under certain circumstances and those circumstances occured, your father would still be liable. But otherwise, his obligations only go so far as he agreed in signing the original lease.


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