Tenants break up and want to break lease

4 Replies

I have a couple (aka girlfriend & boyfriend) who signed a 1 yr lease about 4 months ago.  They have since broken up and decided the girlfriend will stay and they will find a tenant  to move in and take the boyfriend's place.  

They have found a tenant that I have screened.  I am ok with her other than she has a low credit score (based on little credit history and high student loans from what I can tell, she is very young and currently lives at home).

My question is, should I assign the boyfriend's interest in the lease to the new tenant or somehow add the new tenant to the existing lease in order to keep the boyfriend on the hook should the new tenant not pay.

Appreciate any advice.

We just had this happen here in Connecticut. What we did was have both current tenants sign a lease addendum stating that as of X date, the person moving out is no longer responsible for the unit, and that it becomes the responsibility of the tenant staying. This effectively releases the boyfriend. 

In your situation, I would have the girlfriend and new tenant sign a new lease for the remaining months of the original 12 month lease. This ensures that both tenants are held responsible. I'd also collect a security deposit from that new tenant so that she has some "skin in the game". As a property manager we always always always want to cover our you know what. 

Hope that helps! 

Have the new tenant and remaining tenant sign a new M2M lease. Do not put them on term as the new tenant is far too high risk. She would not qualify if I was doing the screening. In a case where two unrelated applicants apply they would both need to fully qualify for the entire rent payment independently for me to approve them.

I rarely rent to multiple unrelated applicants and never rent to unmarried couples to avoid the very problem you are experiencing. Most couples will break up and want out of their lease.

If new tenant is young and lives at home currently, see if her parents will co-sign the lease. And, to see just how comfortable the staying tenant is with her friend, remind her that it is one lease and that any portion not paid is the responsibility of all tenants.