How to Break a Lease With a Roommate in California
Before breaking a lease with roommates in California, you must understand the renters’ laws in California. Know what can happen when you break a lease and the potential costs for breaking a lease before you decide to break your lease or break your roommate’s lease early.
You may have challenges, such as your roommate not complying with your request to break the lease. You might also find it difficult to file charges against your roommate or find a legal reason to break a lease. DoNotPay can help you through this complicated process.
How to Break a Lease With Roommates in California on Your Own
Breaking a lease with your roommate in California relies on your tenant status, which is decided by whose name appears on the lease. Here is what you can do, depending on your situation:
1. Lease Agreement Is Under Both You and Your Roommate
You and your housemate are known as co-tenants if you are both stated in the contract and pay the same rent to the property owner. A co-tenant can't be evicted. Only a landlord has the authority to evict somebody who is mentioned on a lease, and only for a good reason.
Your best bet is to inform the landlord of the issue in this circumstance. Your landlord may intervene to expel your roommate if they are not making payments, engaging in unlawful activity in the unit, or causing damage to the flat.
2. Lease Agreement Is Solely Under Your Name
You can evict your housemate if your name is the only one on the agreement. Because you are legally regarded as your housemate's landlord in some instances, you have the authority to evict. Follow eviction protocol as if you were a landlord evicting a tenant.
The sole exception is if your roommate pays rent directly to the landlord while not on the agreement; in this case, your roommate is considered your co-tenant. Your roommate obtains the same privileges as a listed tenant on your lease, reducing the likelihood of eviction.
3. The Roommate's Name Is Solely on the Lease
You do not have many alternatives if you're not on the lease, but your roommate is—for example, if you're the one leasing. Your housemate is the primary tenant, meaning the lease only applies to your housemate and the property owner, and you are their sublease. You won't be able to evict them.
4. There Is No Lease Agreement
A monthly-based tenancy is developed when you and your housemate have no formal contract, but your roommate has made rent payments to the house owner, or they have stayed with you for more than one month.
When your housemate has a monthly-based lease, California state law allows you to oust them without giving a cause by assigning them one to two months' notice. If your roommate is residing in a subsidized housing scheme, several localities demand that a just reason be presented.
Conditions for Legally Breaking a Lease in California
In California, you must give a good reason to evict someone in some scenarios, but in some cases, you can expel your housemate much more rapidly, since the removal is deemed a rational response to a roommate's poor behavior. If your housemate performs any of the following and your landlord has proof, then the landlord can provide either a 3-day notice to cure or quit or a 3-day unconditional notice to quit:
- Defaults on rent payment
- Causes property damage
- Interferes significantly with the lives of other renters
- Acts aggressively towards other tenants
- Perpetrates drug-related offenses
Lease Termination Requirements in California
Another option is that you can break your lease instead. In this case, you must give the appropriate amount of notice to your landlord and cite issues with your roommate as the reason to break your lease. Hopefully, your landlord will be sympathetic to your reason and will allow you to break your lease without penalty or damage to your credit.
Here is how much notice you need to give in California:
|Rent Payment||Notice Time||Statute|
|Week-to-week lease||7 days||Civil Code Section 1946.1(a)|
|Month-to-month lease||30 days||Civil Code Section 1946.1(b)|
|Year-to-year lease||No statute||No statute|
How to Break Your Lease With Your Roommate Using DoNotPay
DoNotPay is an easy-to-use app that has a much easier solution to help you break your lease with your roommate. You just answer a few questions, and we do the rest for you.
Here's how you can get started in 3 easy steps:
- Search Break My Lease on DoNotPay.
- Prepare a signed copy of your lease that you can use as a reference, and enter the state the lease was signed in.
- Let us guide you through the 4 potential options.
Then, DoNotPay will solve your roommate lease problem in one of the following ways:
- If you're a uniformed service member breaking a lease to fulfill your service obligations, we'll send your landlord an SCRA Protection Letter.
- If you're breaking your lease for a reason protected by your state's tenant laws, we'll write your landlord a letter detailing your protections for breaking the lease under the relevant law.
- If your reasons for breaking your lease aren't protected by federal or state law, but you'd like to try to convince your landlord to let you break the lease through mutual agreement, we'll draft a hardship letter making your case to your landlord.
- If there are no remaining options for breaking the lease with protection, but your state requires landlords to mitigate damages to tenants who break their leases, we'll notify your landlord of that obligation and minimize the remaining rent you have to pay.
Why Use DoNotPay to Break a Lease With Your Roommate
Instead of you having to figure out the best solution and writing the hardship or notice letter by yourself, DoNotPay will do all of that for you. We can help you save time and money with our quick and easy solution. DoNotPay is:
- Fast: You don't have to spend hours trying to break a lease with a roommate.
- Easy: All you have to do is answer a few questions on the easy-to-use app.
- Successful: You can rest assured knowing we'll make the best case for you.
More Easy Solutions From DoNotPay
DoNotPay offers several other services apart from helping you break a lease. A few other services we offer include:
Explore our services at DoNotPay to solve all your requests. We have got you covered!