What can I do if my wife and I are separated and I wish to take myself off but the landlord says I can’t without her signature?

UPDATED: Jul 31, 2012

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What can I do if my wife and I are separated and I wish to take myself off but the landlord says I can’t without her signature?

Our lease is up for renewal. Am I locked into another year?

Asked on July 31, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Maryland


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

During the middle of a lease term, or after having already agreed to renew a lease, a tenant may not be released from the lease without the consent, or agreement, of all parties--the landlord and any other tenants.

If you have not yet renewed your lease however, you should be able to remove yourself--simply refuse to renew or re-sign the lease. You cannot be made to bind yourself to a lease or any other contract against you will, except in the limited exception of some sort of "automatic renewal" clause, where you have already passed the point or time at which you could provide notice of non-renewal.

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