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Old 03-07-2015, 03:06 PM
 
3,492 posts, read 2,787,681 times
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My roommate and I had some disagreements recently. I told her I will have to move out mid-May and will need to find someone to take over my room. Our lease ends in August. I was planning on paying for the month of May and let someone else pay for June, July, and August. Since our fight, she's telling me she doesn't want to live with someone new. I found out after our fight that she needs to agree to the new tenant living there. I didn't realize that. Is there any way I can get out of this? I can't pay for that part of the rent as I will be living somewhere else this summer..

I thought about reminding her that if I just leave, she will be responsible for the rest of the rent. But I didn't think threats would be a good time right now. I don't want to get sued or have this affect me trying to rent a place in the future. I asked her to consider moving out the same time I do since she was telling me she wanted to move out soon too.. but she said she's not sure because of her classes... any suggestions on making up roommate fights? We weren't friends before this so I don't know anything about her. BTW I live in Virginia state if that makes a difference...
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Old 03-07-2015, 03:11 PM
 
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Tell her that you have a right to find a replacement roommate, and if she wants she can find her own, but she can't expect you to stay and pay the full amount if you find someone to take over the place.
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Old 03-07-2015, 03:13 PM
 
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Well she told me she doesn't want to live with someone new... so what can I tell her?
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Old 03-07-2015, 03:18 PM
 
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Tell her she has no choice, she can live alone and play the full rent amount. You really should stay and honor your commitment, but let her know that even if you do that you will leave once the lease is up. You might also ruin a friendship.
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Old 03-07-2015, 03:21 PM
 
Location: St Thomas, US Virgin Islands
24,671 posts, read 63,074,918 times
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Are you both on the lease? If only she is on it, all you need to do is give her 30 days notice or whatever your state mandates (links are in first "sticky" on this forum) and the ball is in her court.

If you're both on the lease you're pretty much stuck in your obligation to pay rent until it ends since you're both jointly and severally responsible for abiding by its terms and will both be sued if the lease is defaulted on.
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Old 03-07-2015, 03:23 PM
 
Location: Silicon Valley
18,700 posts, read 26,586,092 times
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What does your lease say about subletting? Does it say subletting is allowed, but your roommate must approve the new subletter?

If that's the case, then I don't think it would be reasonable for her to not consider any replacement for you. For her to make it impossible for you to find someone, anyone that she could approve so that you could be released from a financial obligation, is not reasonable. And if you were to go to court, the judge would look at what is reasonable. This is the word used in law for everything - does this seem reasonable? If not, then it's probably not allowed.

So, you might want to write her a letter or email that says something like this:

Dear Roommate:

As we discussed, I want to move out of our apartment mid-May, and find a subletter for my room. You have said that you will not approve any subletter that I find. This is unreasonable, and puts me in a financial bind, as I can't pay for rent for a room I no longer occupy plus rent in my new location.

Since our lease allows subletting (if it does) I am within my rights to sublet my room to someone else. I understand that you want to approve a new subletter to live with. I will make every effort to find someone that you will approve by Mid-May, but if you are still refusing to approve of anyone, or to make any effort to find someone yourself by then, I will expect you to take over all of the rent payments after I move out.

I hope this matter does not end up in court, but if it does, I feel confident that a judge will not find your refusal to allow me to find a replacement roommate to be reasonable. Your refusal would cost me out-of-pocket damages, that I believe a judge would require you to pay.

Let's make a concerted effort to avoid any bad feelings or for this to end up in court, and work together to find a new roommate for you, to move in when I leave.

Sincerely,

You


Then, start advertising immediately for a new roommate, and make copies of the advertisements. Keep notes of who and when you interview, and what your roommate says about them all. Just in case you need to show a judge the effort you made, and how she kept you from renting your room to someone else. If you can get her to email back and forth with you or even text about each applicant, that would be great. And then figure out how to download and print out the texts, if you do it that way.

Roommate situations are so difficult. Good luck to you.
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Old 03-07-2015, 04:27 PM
 
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Our apartment doesn't allow subletting, but someone can take over my part of the lease completely. My roommate thinks this would force her to sign an entire year's lease. I told her she wouldn't have to because I asked and they said she wouldn't. We were never friends to begin with. We never really got along the entire time. We just got into a huge fight this last week. Now she says she doesn't want to live with anybody new.

If I find a lot of people and she rejects them all, when mid-May comes and I have to go, if I don't pay for my part of the rent, you're saying the apartment can sue us both? So she would also be responsible if I don't pay my part? I can remind her of that if she insists she doesn't want to live with anybody new.
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Old 03-07-2015, 04:37 PM
 
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You signed the lease through August. Instead if trying to find ways out of it, I suggest trying to find a way to pay through august and still having enough money for your new place. Good luck finding someone to take it over because that would be nice, but you don't have as much power as you seem to think you do...
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Old 03-07-2015, 04:38 PM
 
Location: St Thomas, US Virgin Islands
24,671 posts, read 63,074,918 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GKelly View Post
... when mid-May comes and I have to go, if I don't pay for my part of the rent, you're saying the apartment can sue us both? So she would also be responsible if I don't pay my part? I can remind her of that if she insists she doesn't want to live with anybody new.
Yes, if the rent isn't paid in full the landlord will look to you both for payment if you're both on the lease. If you don't pay when given notice to do so he may pursue eviction and name you both. Let things simmer down and then sit down and try and work it out. Do you have someone who could sit down with you both as a mediator, possibly?
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Old 03-07-2015, 04:46 PM
 
Location: Milwaukee
5,749 posts, read 2,746,817 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GKelly View Post
Our apartment doesn't allow subletting, but someone can take over my part of the lease completely. My roommate thinks this would force her to sign an entire year's lease. I told her she wouldn't have to because I asked and they said she wouldn't. We were never friends to begin with. We never really got along the entire time. We just got into a huge fight this last week. Now she says she doesn't want to live with anybody new.

If I find a lot of people and she rejects them all, when mid-May comes and I have to go, if I don't pay for my part of the rent, you're saying the apartment can sue us both? So she would also be responsible if I don't pay my part? I can remind her of that if she insists she doesn't want to live with anybody new.
NoMoreSnowForMe's post was very helpful.

Also, here is a link to VA-specific tenant information:

If you don’t have a legal justification to break your lease, the good news is that you may still be off the hook for paying all the rent due for the remaining lease term. This is because under Virginia law (Va. Code Ann. §§ 55-248.33, 55-248.35), your landlord must make reasonable efforts to re-rent your unit—no matter what your reason for leaving—rather than charge you for the total remaining rent due under the lease. So you may not have to pay much, if any additional rent, if you break your lease. You need pay only the amount of rent the landlord loses because you moved out early. This is because Virginia requires landlords to take reasonable steps to keep their losses to a minimum—or to “mitigate damages” in legal terms.

from NOLO

Renter's Rights Breaking a Lease in Virginia | Nolo.com

Good luck.
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