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About the roommate

Posted by :-) on February 16, 2001 at 18:12:56:

In Reply to: Advice on illegal apartment posted by Kate on February 15, 2001 at 16:28:29:

Really the only relevant issue here is the roommate...

As MikeW pointed out, who is actually named on the lease is crucial. If the roommate alone signed the lease -- then fine, you can leave without answering to anyone. If you alone are on the lease, you can get your roommate out, but if you've been collecting rent from her you'd probably have to go through the process of giving her 30 days notice (one full rent cycle) and even evict her in court if she didn't leave after that.

If both you and your roommate are named on the lease, it gets more complicated. Of course you can can leave, but you could still be held liable for rent payments until your lease expires. So try to work things out. Ideally, you want a statement from the landlord releasing you from the lease. Roommate and landlord could sign their own lease with each other.

The only probably with this is that neither roommate nor landlord are under any obligation other than to continue with the leases you all have signed. This is why written roommate agreements are so important. In your case, I'd work on the roommate -- try to get her to accept that you must move out (given that she doesn't like you she shouldn't have problems with this) and get her to either agree to take in another roommate or, if the LL is OK, sign a lease directly with him. Good luck.

: Hi there, I live in Westchester County, NY (Eastchester). I live in a private house and I just found out that there is an illegal basement apartment in the house I live in. There are 4 separate apartments in the house, one of which is a 2 bedroom basement apartment and there are only 3 electric meters. The basement and 3rd level share a meter. Their utilities are all inclusive with their rent.

: My question is, I am on a one year lease with 1 roomate. We are not getting along and I have been desparately trying to find a way out of the lease, my roommate won't budge. I am thinking of calling the landlord and telling him my situation and that I want out of the apartment. If it is an illegal building, is our lease still valid? I don't want to report the landlord or the house/building (he is very easy to deal with). Right now I am uncomfortable in my apartment with my roomate. I don't feel safe and I want a way out. Please let me know my rights here.

: Thanks!

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