Tenants Split up, one wants the other out but one wants to stay

9 Replies

Hey Guys,

Have an interesting situation, tried searching the fourms and using google to find precidence but came up with nothing.  A couple rented a house of ours a couple months ago (16 month lease) and things have been great.  Property is in good condition, pay rent on time etc.  I just got a call from the boyfriend this AM and apparently they have broken up.  He confirmed he wants to stay in the property (and can afford it) but wanted to know how to get her out.  Apparently she went to stay with a friend after they broke up but came back and said she was on the lease and he couldnt kick her out (technically correct from my position).  He wants to know what to do.

From my position... he was the one with the income so I dont care if she leaves but they are both on the lease.  I cannot do anything to get her out so it is a domestic situation that they need to work out.  My advice to him, that I am preparing to provide, is Ride the lease out and when the lease expires we will renew in his name alone.  However, if he wants to persue having her leave prior to the end of the current lease he needs to contact an attorney to make sure he does it in an appropriate and legal way.

Has anyone had such an experience or have knowledge of how to handle the situation that can provide advice to me of the best advice to provide to him/them?




I have been here before. This is how I worked it out. My tenants split up, she left. I talked to her about getting off of the lease. What she wanted to do with the deposit. She didn’t want to be on there, there is no benefit to someone not living at the property but being on the lease. It is a liability. Have her sign a release talking about the deposit, date she left, etc. I would probably make it an addendum to the original Lease agreement

If he can qualify on his own then I would continue to rent to him but just clean up the paperwork.

Good luck!

Hi Kai Van Leuven, Thanks for the input.  Your situation is slightly different in that someone wanted out (You handled it exactly how I would in your situation).  Let me summerize my situation so its a little more clear (i may have burried the lead in my above post)

The problem statement: 

  • His income is how they qualified (she had none)
  • He wants to stay in the house and wants her to move out
  • She wants to stay in the house and wants him to stay (reconcile)
  • Both parties want to stay in the house but one party wants the other to move out.
  • From a legal perspective they are both on the lease so I cannot require one of them to move out and they need to come to an agreement between the two of them

Thanks again!

What Mike said.  They should be "joint and several"  on the lease which means EACH is responsible for the FULL amount of rent.  This protects you when one moves out and the other tries to pay you half rent or something.

In this scenario,  you have no power to do anything.  You cannot legally evict for this reason.    They have to figure it out.

Hi Mike Cumbie, Thanks for the conformation.  Just wanted to make sure I wasn't missing anything.  My gut was to stay out of it but since this is kind of a different situation that I hadn't heard about before I thought I would throw it up to the brain trust to ensure I had considered all the angles.  Thanks again, as always, to everyone for their input and responses!


I echo the same feelings as above ^^^. Let them figure it out. Your responsibility is providing housing and collecting rent. I have tried to take on tenants problems before and it is a bucket with a hole in it. I recently told my wife, “I only have time for my own problems.”

Tell them it's a personal issue and not your problem. They both signed the lease, they are both liable, and they both have equal rights to the property. They can contact you when they've figured it out.

You were right in saying that it's a domestic situation and he needs to handle it on his own. If she were to willingly leave then you can do an addendum that they both must sign, to release her from the lease.