Can a cosigner be removed from the lease before the lease expires?
3 attorney answers
Without the landlord's consent, a co-signer cannot be removed from a lease. With the landlord's consent, a co-signer can be removed from a lease. A lease is a binding contract that cannot be altered unless all the parties to the lease agree to the alteration. Once you and your co-signer have signed the lease both of you are bound by the lease. The idea that the co-signer can be removed from the lease without the landlord's consent is not viable.
You and the landlord would have to sign a modification. I'm not sure the landlord would agree because it is one less person to go after if you don't pay. If you do this I suggest your friend sign a guarantee rather than be a co-signer.
I am a former federal and State prosecutor and have been handling criminal defense and personal injury cases for over 18 years. The above answer, and any follow up comments or emails, is for informational purposes only and not meant as legal advice.
Dear New York Tenant:
A co-signer on a lease is a tenant with rights equal to the other signing tenant, including the right to reside in the apartment as a residence. If your current co-tenant desires to end tenancy rights, and move out from the apartment in advance of the lease renewal, the landlord and the two original tenants may agree to a lease modification where the departing tenant is released from the lease and the right to renew the lease and the incoming new tenant is accepted by the landlord as the substitute tenant on the renewal lease.
The answer provided to you is in the nature of general information. The general proposition being that you should try to avoid a bad outcome if you can.