Can One Person Break a Two-Person Lease?
Dealing with roommates, including complicated joint tenancy agreements, can quickly turn into a headache when the time comes to break your lease and move out. What happens when one person wants to move out and the other does not?
The inevitable question is can one person break a two-person lease? Learn more about your renters’ rights and how to legally break your lease with DoNotPay to avoid penalties and consequences.
Justifiable Reasons for at Least One Person to Break a Lease
Leases can be broken legally for a variety of reasons. In some cases, you may find that both parties involved in the lease should break it, based on the habitability of the home or other factors regarding the overall construction of the property or the landlord. However, in other cases, only one party may want or need out of a lease:
|1. A service member receives orders requiring them to move to a new location||Service members can legally break a lease when the time comes for them to move. In the case of a two-person lease, one party can move out due to those orders, regardless of the needs of the other party.|
|2. The property has severe health and safety damages.||If a landlord does not take measures to fix up a property quickly and effectively, both or all parties on the lease may need to break the lease. However, in some cases, one party might be willing to wait the problem out, while another might want to break the lease immediately.|
|3. The landlord is harassing the tenant or tenants.||Sometimes, a landlord might be harassing everyone in the property: entering without permission, or without providing adequate notice, on a regular basis, for example. In other cases, however, a landlord's harassment might be focused on one tenant, which could cause that tenant to want or need to break the lease.|
|4. The tenant is a victim of domestic violence.||A victim of domestic violence may have the right to break their portion of the lease in order to get away from their abuser, regardless of whether that person is the other party on the lease.|
In addition, some leases may have specific terms that allow one or all tenants to break a lease under other circumstances, including buying a property of their own or financial hardship.
What Happens When You Break a Two-Person Lease?
A two-person lease is designed to make each party on the lease equally responsible for the terms of the lease. For example, each party could have to put down a specific portion of the deposit and might forfeit the same percentage of the deposit if the property is damaged in any way.
Each party on the lease is also responsible for paying a percentage of the rent, based on the terms of the lease: if you have two people in an apartment, for example, each one might be responsible for paying for half of the lease.
When you break the lease:
- The landlord may be able to break the lease with all the tenants entirely. Often, this will occur because the other tenants have somehow violated the terms of the lease or have not been model tenants.
- The landlord may allow the tenants to bring in another roommate, with whom a new lease would be signed.
- The landlord may write a new lease with the existing tenants, adjusting the rent appropriately.
In most cases, if one member of a group has a legal reason to break the lease, a single party can break a multi-person lease or two-person lease. How the landlord responds may depend on the specific landlord and the circumstances surrounding the rental.
How One Person Can Break a Two-Person Lease
If you need to break a two-person lease on your own, you will need to be prepared to provide relevant documentation. You may need to:
- Contact your landlord. Notify them, in writing, of your intent to break the lease.
- Notify your roommates regarding your intent to break the lease.
- Show evidence of why you intend to break the lease.
- Prepare to give adequate notice, based on your state's requirements. In many cases, you may have to provide 30-60 days’ notice before breaking a lease.
In addition, you may need to keep documentation of all communications with your landlord regarding your intent to break your lease. Sometimes, the landlord may try to fight your decision to break the lease, or come after you for rent in spite of the fact that you have broken your lease.
Breaking Your Lease State by State
If you have more questions about breaking your lease in your specific state, check the appropriate link in the table below.
Make Breaking a Two-Person Lease Easier With DoNotPay
Do you need to break your lease the easy way? 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 create a “break your lease” letter that matches your specific situation:
- 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 Two-Person Lease
Breaking a two-person lease on your own can be difficult. If you do it incorrectly, you could find yourself facing a variety of penalties. DoNotPay helps provide the documentation you need, reducing the odds that your broken lease will cause your credit to take a hit and eliminating many of the other consequences you might face, including expensive fees.
DoNotPay helps take the stress out of your lease-breaking decision. Ready to break your two-person lease? DoNotPay is here to help. Check out our tools today.w