Do I need my roommate’s approval to reassign my portion of the lease?

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Do I need my roommate’s approval to reassign my portion of the lease?

I have been renting a home for the past 2 years with 2 roommates and we have signed a 1 year lease that ends in about 6 months. I would like to assign my portion of the lease to a new tenant so that I can move out. My landlord has said they would allow this but 1 of the roommates does not approve. Do I need their approval despite my landlord agreeing to the reassignment? And if I am allowed to reassign, what are the penalties for reassigning a lease? I’m being told by my landlord that I have to pay my balance of the lease minus 1 month.

Asked on April 10, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Maryland

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

1) You only need your roommate's approval if the lease itself states somewhere in it that the approval of all parties or of co-tenants is required for assignment.

2) As a general matter, there is no penalty for  assigning a lease; if the new tenant picks up the rental seamlessly, so the landlord is not out anything, you would not have to pay anything extra--unless, that is, that the lease itself provides for some fee in the event of assignment; if it does, that fee is likely enforceable, though for a definitive answer, you should an attorney review the lease.


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