I rent an apartment from a property management company with one other person. Our lease ends next month and I intend to move out. When I tried to serve a 30 day notice to the leasing office, I was told that unless my roommate intends to move as well, they will not accept a 30 day notice, and that if he wants to stay, we have to sign what they call a "roommate release": my roommate has to sign a form agreeing to let me leave, and the office will only approve the release if my roommate meets their financial qualifications to remain on the property and renew the lease. This policy is not described in my lease or anywhere on the apartment complex website. Specifically, the only reference to move out policies in the lease says, "Either party, Lessor or Lessee, may terminate this agreement after the initial term by giving the other party written notice of its intention to terminate the tenancy at least thirty (30) days prior to the expiration of the initial term." I was told by the office manager several months prior that the roommate release process is used to allow tenants to end their lease early; can they apply this sort of policy to the end of a lease?
These multiple tenant issues are complicated, especially when one leaves and one stays, `but here are my off-the-cuff thoughts:
1. When a fixed term lease ends, it ends. I don't see that you have any obligation to stay on as a month to month tenant. Of course, I have not seen the lease document.
2. If your tenancy is over, you can leave.
3. It's up to your room mate to make whatever arrangements he chooses to make with the landlord.
Although the landlord might argue that if the roommate does not leave at the end of the term, you are still on the hook because his failure to vacate may be a breach, my guess is that the roommate will go on paying rent and essentially form a new relationship with the landlord.
Of interest will be the question of the deposit, if you have one. The landlord will (and I think rightly) consider the deposit to be yours and the roommate's, complicating getting back your share.
This comment is general in nature and is not intended as legal advice. It does not create an attorney client relationship and obviously is not confidential. You should contact an attorney in your area who can review with you all of the relevant facts and give you specific legal advice.
The details are critical here and the exact provisions of the lease make all the difference. Normally, fixed term leases either terminate on the specified date and the tenants are supposed to be out; or the lease may provide that it automatically renews unless either party notifies the other that they don't wish to renew; or it may automatically convert to a month to month tenancy, again unless one of the party timely notifies the other of their intent to not continue the tenancy. Regardless, either tenant has the power to terminate the tenancy so long as they do so in a timely manner with proper written notice. The landlord cannot require both tenants agreement so long as the proposed termination is legally and properly completed. If you continue to have problems, consider taking your lease and copies of all notices to a landlord-tenant attorney for review and advice. A single visit will likely answer all your questions and establish a game plan for how to proceed. Good luck.
Nothing contained herein should be considered as legal advice for any specific situation and nothing herein is intended to create a lawyer-client relationship. Every case is very "fact-specific" and persons wishing legal advice on a specific matter should contact me or another attorney for an appointment to review their particular circumstances and to create a lawyer-client relationship.
Our Rating is calculated using information the lawyer has included on their profile in addition to the information we collect from state bar associations and other organizations that license legal professionals. Attorneys who claim their profiles and provide Avvo with more information tend to have a higher rating than those who do not.What determines Avvo Rating?Experience & background
Years licensed, work experience, educationLegal community recognition
Peer endorsements, associations, awardsLegal thought leadership
Publications, speaking engagementsDiscipline