Living With Someone? Make Sure You Know The Law Before You Move Out

Law Blog

Unfortunately, living with family or friends doesn't always turn out pleasantly. Some people move in with someone else as a way to save money or simply because they enjoy their company; however, whether it's someone who doesn't clean up after themselves or fails to pay their portion of the rent, situations can arise that make you no longer want to be in that particular living arrangement. Unfortunately, moving on isn't always as simple as packing up your belongings and moving out.

The Gray Area

Unlike the landlord and tenant laws, the laws surrounding people who live together are sometimes different. In some instances, packing up and leaving could actually end up causing more harm than good. How you can approach the situation depends on the type of living arrangement that you are in.


The tenant is the individual that has that direct relationship with the landlord. If your name is on the lease and you have brought someone to live with you whose name is not on the lease, you are the sole tenant. Even if the individual living with you agrees to pay the rent after you move out, you could still be faced with a judgement eviction. 

The landlord has the relationship with you, not someone else. If you are in this type of situation and want to move, you either need to get the individual living with you on the lease and remove yourself, or simply wait until the end of your lease term.


Roommates are people who are co-tenants on a lease agreement. If you decide to move out before the end of the term, you could still face legal action. This is the case even if the other party remains in the rental and pays the rent on time.

Some lease agreements require you to notify the landlord of any changes in occupancy. If you move out and don't provide this information, the landlord could take you to court and legally evict you on the terms that you defaulted on the agreement. This could leave you left to pay the remaining balance on the lease agreement even though you don't live there.

It's important to understand your label as it pertains to your lease agreement. Just because there is someone else there to help pay the rent doesn't waive your legal responsibility. If you want to move out, but don't know your rights, a legal office like Huckabone O'Brien Instance Bradley Lyle can assist you with finding out what your options are to ensure you're protected.             


27 October 2015