From the Forum – How do you terminate a month-to-month lease with co-tenants?

by Prince Of Petworth June 5, 2014 at 2:10 pm 40 Comments

Photo by PoPville flickr user scottahb

How do you terminate a month-to-month lease with co-tenants?

“Hi PoPville, I need some advice.

Last year, I agreed to a 6 month lease that went month-to-month back in January 2014. I am a co-tenant with two other people and we are all jointly and severally responsible for all the terms of the lease.

I gave the land lord my one month’s notice that I’d like to vacate and terminate my tenancy. The LL said that I cannot do that. Either I find a replacement, which is approved by all parties, and then transfer the lease and liability to them, or all three current co-tenants must agree to vacate. My roommates do no want to leave and aren’t inclined to find a replacement for me on the lease.

My understanding was that since it became a month-to-month lease, any co-tenant could terminate with a month’s notice.

It doesn’t make sense to me — and doesn’t seem possible — that I’m am bound to a month-to-month lease INDEFINITELY and can only leave at the mercy of my roommates, that is, if my co-tenenants approve my candidate or choose to leave as well.

I get that I have J&S liability for rent during the lease period (so any given month if one tenant doesn’t pay, the rest of us have to cover). But how can I be bound forever in a co-tenancy with two other people? The lease period ends at a certain point. At that point ever month is an opportunity to terminate the lease. Once I give proper notice, seems like I should get to terminate my obligations in the month-to-month lease.

Is my land lord really right here? Is this legal?”

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