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Does an assignee have recourse against roommates violating lease terms? Can co-tenant violations excuse assignee's obligations?

Santa Barbara, CA |

My sister's a student sharing an apartment with 5 other girls. Most of them leave the apartment filthy, including full garbage bags left inside for days. Two have girlfriends over regularly, with one spending about 25 nights a month there. She's of course not on the lease, verbally abusive to my sister, and gets into fights with the roommate-girlfriend, resulting in holes punched in the walls.

My sister's assigned lease is up at the end of June, but she wants out early because she's miserable there. More pressing, she has an intern opportunity in DC, but can't afford it unless she can sublet (or get out of) her lease. As you might imagine, a fetid, littered apartment is not so appealing. Does she have options through the landlord? Should she break the lease and stick them with her share?

Attorney Answers 1


If she breaks a lease, the LL may sue her. The 25 month visitor should be reported to the LL as it may violate the lease and LL can ban her. Your sister may be held liable for the holes in the wall.

READ THIS BEFORE CALLING OR EMAILING ME: I am licensed to practice before the state and federal courts in Virginia. We have not established an attorney-client relationship unless we have a signed representation agreement and you have paid me. I am providing educational instruction only--not legal advice. You should speak with an attorney to whom you have provided all the facts, before you take steps that may impact your legal rights. I am not obligated to answer subsequent emails or phone calls unless you have hired me. I wish you the best of luck with your situation.

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