Let's assume that two co-tenants jointly signed a 1 year lease with landlord. One co-tenant now wants to move out early after living there just 1 month. There is no roommate agreement.

What are the leaving co-tenant's obligations in terms of paying rent:

  1. Fixed amount of days? Like 30 days after giving formal notice?
  2. Until replacement roommate is found?
  3. Until 1 year lease expires and converts into a month-to-month rent?
  4. Something else?

1 Answer 1


Who pays rent?

It entirely depends on the terms of the lease the co-tenants jointly signed. It is impossible to address your question with specificity or certainty unless we know the terms of the lease.

For instance, if the lease mentions that co-tenants are jointly and severally liable, then the landlord is entitled to recover from any co-tenant any and all fees pursuant to the lease. In that case it would not matter who left prematurely or why. Absent a roommate agreement, the payer might in turn have a claim on equitable grounds, on a theory of implied contract, or quasi-contract against the co-tenant who left prematurely, although that is a separate matter and does not alter the landlord's entitlement to obtain full recovery from any co-tenant.

  • Yes, jointly and severally liable contract. The focus of my question was actually how court would decide for how long the leaving co tenant has to contribute the rent in absence of any other agreements but the lease. Commented Jul 20, 2020 at 0:28
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    Until the end of the lease, whether that is because it expires or because proper notice is given. I think you misunderstand the joint liability; it is for the rent, not some contribution towards it. Commented Jul 20, 2020 at 6:04
  • @user389238 "how court would decide for how long the leaving co tenant has to contribute". This is quite unpredictable because the unspecified facts of the case might be such that the leaving co-tenant could prevail under principles of equity. Equity does not necessarily consist of splitting liability (i.e., compensation to landlord) in equal parts. Furthermore, unless the leaving co-tenant is formally brought to court as defendant, co-defendant, or third-party defendant, the court rulings will not involve him at all. Commented Jul 20, 2020 at 10:49

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