How do I get a girlfriend off of my lease?

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How do I get a girlfriend off of my lease?

Her alcoholism is taking its toll, and she isn’t financially responsible. How do I get out of this lease while remaining here?

Asked on April 21, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Virginia

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Unfortunately, you can't get off the lease unless she and the landlord agree to removing her.

The lease is a contract among all the parties--e.g. you and your girlfriend, as tenants, and your landlord. No party to a contract can get another one off the contract.

If she violates lease terms, or engages in certain forms of destructive or disorderly conduct, the landlord can evict her. You cannot; the right to evict is given to landlords, not fellow tenants. You could of course complain to the landlord and ask they take action.

If your girlfriend defaults on her rent or other financial obligations under the lease, you could sue her for her contribution. If she ever injures you or steals from you, you could sue her, press charges, and possibly get a protective order.

But you can't get her off the lease--again, unless all parties to the lease, including her and the landlord--agree.


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