Tenants broke up, want to adjust the names on the lease

8 Replies

Hi everyone. I had a bf/gf renting a property and they broke up. The bf left so the gf is asking if I can remove him from the lease. She can afford the place by herself so that isn't an issue but legally, do I wait till the lease is up or would I have to get an attorney to write up something they both have to sign?

@Mike York

They are jointly and severely liable. Do not adjust the lease because the BF moved out. If they do not want to live together that is fine, but their personal issues are not your problem. 

Wait until the lease expires to renegotiate terms.

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Unless there is specific reason not to do so, I suggest creating an addendum to the lease that removes the boyfriend. This way, all legal obligations of the lease would fall only onto the girlfriend who now solely resides in the rental. This makes sense because if you ever need to give notice due to a lease violation, if both are still listed on the lease, you may have to serve both of them. Obviously, this may not be possible if the boyfriend moves out of town and may not make any sense if he has nothing to do with the lease violation. Hope that makes sense.

I agree with the addendum. Keeps everything neat and tidy. Just a few lines stating that bf is being removed from the lease, gf is accepting sole responsibility for lease terms. Security deposit stays the same and will be returned to gf upon vacating the house per lease terms.

Have both sign it and you sign it. It’s important that they both sign it to ensure everyone is on the same page.

Ask if the locks need to be changed for a cost of $50 (or whatever).

This will protect you if you have to evict or if you have issues with the security deposit and who should/shouldn’t get it back.

f they don't want to live together, this is good, it is their common and serious responsibility. Since BF moves out, do not adjust the lease. Wait until the lease expires to renegotiate the terms.

So this reared its head again.  The couple made up so I never had to do anything with the lease (woohoo!).  They both resigned and it's been about 6 months and the lady messaged me asking how we can get him off the lease again.  Kicker is, he doesn't want off and he is still living there so I'm like if he's not willing to sign, not much I can do.  Outside of this, they are good renters.  Keep the house well maintained and clean so I hate to get rid of them but the drama is starting to get old.  Other than telling her the lease stands and they need to get their poop in a group, I should tell her anything else?

Offer them painter's tape, so they can make a line down the middle of the house, lol.

But seriously, there really isn't anything more to be said.  You can't legally remove either one of them off the lease if that person doesn't agree to it.  I know you know that, but rinse and repeat it for her if you need to.  It's up to them to figure it out.

I had something similar happen to me some years ago, but the couple at least did not involve me.  I basically got a notice a little over a month before their lease ended that they would not be renewing, due to their breakup.  I got the impression they'd lived there for a few months under those awkward conditions!  But kudos to them for being responsible people and staying until the end of the lease, so they didn't lose any money.