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Roommate moving out before lease up on short notice

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Roommate moving out before lease up on short notice

Postby Krebstar86 » Tue Jul 28, 2015 12:15 am

Last Friday, my roommate notified me by email while I was away for work that he signed a lease for a new place and would be moving out August 1. Aside from the general sh*ttyness of this, that gave me less than a week to find someone new.

We both signed the original lease in March, for one year. I think I have someone lined up, but want to cover all my bases. What should I tell the landlord management company? If I don't find someone on the first, is he still liable for rent?

Also, what should I do about the security deposit? We both put in the same amount, half of the total? Would he not be able to get it back technically anyway until the lease is up?
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Re: Roommate moving out before lease up on short notice

Postby TenantNet » Tue Jul 28, 2015 1:20 am

First, the LL probably won't care if you pay the entire rent as opposed to just your share. You don't owe half the rent to the LL. You and your roommate owe the entire rent.

That means if the other leaseholder leaves, you owe everything. It's called "joint and several liability" and there might even be some fine print in your lease about it. Of course you can then seek the other helf from the roommate, and even sue him for it.

If part ofthe rent is unpaid, the LL can go after either party, but most likely will go after the party still in residence.

Of course if you get someone to come in, then your loss is covered, so you could then only demand from the old roommate the actual lost rent. I would ask the former roommate to cover his part of the rent until you can find someone new.

The deposit is another matter and the LL should not be giving the deposit (even half of it) back to anyone until the lease is over and all tenants leave. The remaining tenant should then divvy it up themselves.

Remember, the LL rented the entire unit out to two individuals, not 1/2 of the unit to each person.

That means if you have someone new covering the rent and if there are no damages, then you can give the half of the deposit back to the former roommate. You can ask the new roommate to cover half the deposit, essentially giving that to the old roommate and the new roommate would acquire rights to the 1/2 depost being held by the LL. Make sure any damages are apportioned between the old and new roommates and you do this in writing, signed by all parties.

IF there are any costs in finding a new roommate, in my mind that cost should be borne by the person leaving.
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Re: Roommate moving out before lease up on short notice

Postby Krebstar86 » Tue Jul 28, 2015 8:07 am

Thank you. Basically he said he'd give me half his security deposit b/c he was leaving early. I'm fine with that, as I have a verbal agreement already with someone to move in (the one positive is living near a campus and the new semester starting soon). Just wanted to make sure I proceeded the right way with the LL, so I wouldnt have to pay any kind of fee for having someone new come on, changing lease, etc.
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Re: Roommate moving out before lease up on short notice

Postby TenantNet » Tue Jul 28, 2015 11:34 am

Well you didn't ask about that. Unless the LL lives on site or has a nosy super, chances are he won't even know the old roommate is gone. A new person can move in as a real roommate (not a co-tenant). That person would not be on the lease. Why tell the LL if you don't need to?

If you renew next year you can try to have him put on the lease, but the LL can change the rent given it's not a stabilized unit, and can charge fees. The LL might want you to start a new lease before the old one expires, but there's no requirement that you do that.

If you plan on staying a long time you should see if the unit should be rent stab ... most LLs lie about it.

If a new person moves in the LL can ask, and you should tell him the name of the now roommate. No other information need be divulged. It's not the LL's business. Read the article on Roommates on this site.
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