Can I get out of a renewal lease if my roommate decided to move out and the lease hasn’t started yet?

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Can I get out of a renewal lease if my roommate decided to move out and the lease hasn’t started yet?

About 7 days ago I co-signed a lease renewal with my roommate. The new lease will begin 06/01. She However my roommate has now decided that she is moving back home to live with her parents. She’s less responsible than I am and if I don’t pay the entire rent it will certainly go to collections. I have a short window to find a suitable person to sublet and it will be very difficult for me to cover the entire rent alone with my income. I don’t want this to effect my credit score. Is it possible to get out of the lease or hold her responsible for her portion?

Asked on April 30, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Missouri

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

I think that the most practical thing that you can do now is to speak with your landlord and be honest.  Explain what happened and that you had every intention of staying in the apartment and that you loved it there but now your roommate has bailed.  She is still responsible but I am sure that you are "jointly and severally" responsible so you are still on the hook as well. She has also has to look for a suitable replacement but maybe your landlord will let you out of the lease instead.  If he or she does, please get it in writing. Otherwise trya liting it with realtors, etc. to look for a room mate.  Someone who will screen the applicants for you. Good luck to you.


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