If I am not on the lease but pay rent, can my girlfriend put me out?

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If I am not on the lease but pay rent, can my girlfriend put me out?

I just paid rent for both this and next month.

Asked on April 11, 2012 under Real Estate Law, District of Columbia

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

If you are not on the lease but presumably your girlfriend is, then you are effectively a subtenant of hers--that is, you are subleasing from her (the tenant with right of possession), even if mechanically or procedurally, she has you pay the rent directly to her landlord. That would make you a subtenant under an oral lease; as a subtenant, your tenancy can be ended by your girlfriend on 30 days notice. Therefore, she could give you one month's notice to leave; if she has already accepted rent for next month, then the notice would in practice be for the month after that.


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