I own an investment property in Denver, CO that is currently occupied by 3 tenants who have all had some sort of falling out and as such want to terminate their lease early. The last thing I want is a houseful of people at each other's throats, so I have agreed to work with each tenant individually with respect to when that specific tenant will vacate and how much in prorated rent and fees they will be responsible for. Once everything is figured out, I will have to create an addendum to their current lease to spell it all out. Since none of them are on speaking terms and all of the agreements we could potentially arrive at could have drastically different terms, it feels like the right way to go about this is to create a separate addendum for each tenant. Is this advisable (or possibly problematic?) given the fact the original lease has all 3 of their names on it and refers to them collectively as "THE TENANT"?

1 Answer 1


What you are doing sounds enviable, however from a legal view (and bear in mnd I no nothing specifically about the law in Denver) I posit that this could be problematic - particularly if you hold a bond and/or there are damages you may be prejudicing your rights and creating a can of worms.

I would expect that the current agreement holds the tenants jointly and severally liable. What you are proposing would prejudice your rights to go after them severally because they did not agree to the new terms.

From a practical POV there is nothing stopping you doing this, and if everything goes according to plan you will be OK. The problem occurs if things don't.

From a legal POV I might approach this slightly differently (but be mindful that what I propose may or may not be legal in Denver) - I might allow the current agreement to be canceled by all parties conditional on each tenant entering a suitable new agreement directly with the landord (and over only the part of the property they occupy). Once the new agreements are negotiated, I'd then notify them that the conditions of terminating the old agreement have been met. I would then do a "final inspection" at the end of the old agreement and claim against the bond if required.

  • Agreed. Offering a conversion from joint tenancy to "room-by-room" individual tenancies is likely the best way forward, and likely to be supported as a standard of tenancy by existing law anyway.
    – user4657
    May 28, 2017 at 3:30

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