How To Change Roommates or Names on a Lease

Say your old roommate moved out and won't be paying his share of the rent anymore. Does that mean that anyone can just move in and take his place? No, it does not. You still need to coordinate with your landlord and get permission for a new roommate. This new arrangement will be reflected on your lease, which means that you'll have to change the name on the lease to reflect the name of your new roommate. Read on and find out how you can change roommates or names on a lease.

Ask Permission

The first thing you need to do is ask for your landlord's permission. Again, this has to be done in writing. Asking for permission verbally is not enough. To facilitate the process, tell the landlord a little bit about your new roommate. What is his job, if he has one? Can he pay his share of the rent? Have there ever been problems before regarding rent?

Expect the landlord to take some time to review the request. If he agrees, you should proceed by acquiring an application to be filled up by your new roommate. Make sure that the rental application is filled up properly.

It's quite possible that the landlord will decide to make you as well as the new roommate sign a rental agreement or a new lease. You will be signed up as co-tenants, and under this agreement you and your roommate have equal responsibilities, as well as equal rights.

If your landlord chooses to go this route, make sure to talk it over with your new roommate. Go through the new agreement in detail, and make sure that you are completely in sync with regard to your rights and responsibilities as co-tenants. Remember that misunderstood words and clauses can be the cause of destructive misunderstandings down the road, so do not omit this step.

Know Your Rights and the Landlord's Rights

You should also know what things the landlord is allowed to do in relation to your newly-signed lease. For example, the landlord may have the right to change some of the terms of your rental agreement. The landlord may be able to legally increase the security deposit and even hike up the rent. If this possibility sounds scary or intimidating to you, you may want to consult with a real estate lawyer to get some advice on what your best move is in this situation.

If you have entered an agreement similar to this one in another city, it would be a mistake to assume that your new agreement will be exactly the same as agreements you've had with landlords in other areas. There are differences in the laws governing rent in each city. If a certain part of the lease or rental agreement seems unfamiliar or seems skewed unfairly in the landlord's favor, you should not hesitate to get in touch with an attorney. A good real estate attorney will help you scrutinize the details and make a decision that is in your best interest as a tenant.

Once you, the landlord, and the roommate are in agreement, you can now have your roommate move in with you. Your roommate's name should now be on the lease.


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