Q: How to end the lease early due to a toxic roommate situation?
I'm asking for my friend Anne, located in Boston, who has been living with a terrible roommate who continuously harasses her verbally and mentally for several months. For the past 2 months Anne has been trying to break her lease by subletting her room, but finding it impossible to escape this situation.
So Anne is in a huge predicament: the landlord is refused to get involved in any way, and even though the lease says he has the power to approve a subletter he is deferring this decision to the roommate, who refuses to approve any replacement tenants at all costs. Landlord has also refused to negotiate, compromise, or release Anne of the rent
A: I think you have stated the legal issues well. The landlord has to to approve any subletter, and likely the lease says that approval may not be unreasonably withheld. He is is reasonably withholding his approval because the roommate does not approve. The landlord has every right to hold your friend to paying her rent. That means your friend has to find a practical solution, or violate the lease. Keep trying to find a subletter the roommate will approve? Ask the roommate to find someone she approves? Tell the roommate she has to approve a subletter or get out? Spend as little time as possible at the apartment, ride out the lease, and chalk it all up to experience?
A: So, is there a domestic violence situation or some other unlawful conduct of the roommate? This may work to address the lease situation if such orders are entered against the offending roommate. Otherwise if there is a lease presumably she and the roommate are jointly and severally liable and hence if she moves out and the remaining roommate stays that person would also be looked to for the rent. She can try to hire a realtor who handles rental units to deal with the landlord .Never get a roommate!
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