Aurora, CO asked in Landlord - Tenant for Colorado

Q: Breaking Joint Lease: If following lease break protocol but leasing company claiming my roomate has to release me legal?

My roommate and I have a joint lease (12 mont). They failed to uphold agreed-upon nonnegotiables, and my well-being is at risk. Numerous conversations have not gotten anywhere. Our lease has a "leasee" termination addendum with a 60-day notice and a fee. I have offered to find a replacement, adjust timelines, follow the lease protocol, and pay the fee but the the apartment insists my roommate must complete procedures to remove me from the lease for them to remove me from the contract and not hold me liable. I have a solution to get him to do this, but it would cost most of my money. I have been told that they are taking advantage of me illegally. Is the apartment company's requirement for my roommate to release me from the joint lease legal, even if I adhere to the termination protocol? Also, my thought, if not, was that hiring a lawyer is more costly than just paying $2000 to my roommate upon verifiable proof from the apartment company that I'm removed from the lease. Would you agree?

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1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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  • Landlord Tenant Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA

A: In a joint lease situation, typically all parties are jointly and severally liable for lease obligations, which means the leasing company can require consent from all lessees to change the agreement. If the lease explicitly provides a termination addendum that allows an individual lessee to terminate their part of the lease under specific conditions, and you comply with those conditions, the leasing company may not have grounds to require your roommate's agreement.

However, the specific language of the lease governs in these situations. It may be less expensive in the short term to pay your roommate, but seeking legal advice could potentially save you from future liabilities and ensure that the lease termination is handled correctly. Legal aid societies or tenant advocacy groups may offer assistance at a lower cost than a private attorney if cost is a significant issue.

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