Chicago, IL asked in Landlord - Tenant for Illinois

Q: My roommate left me the apartment. My name is not on the lease. Do I have to move out? I'm in Illinois.

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

A: If your roommate left and your name isn't on the lease, your situation can be a bit complicated. Generally, if you're not an official tenant—meaning your name isn't on the lease agreement—you don't have the same rights as someone who is. This could mean that you may need to move out unless you take steps to become an authorized tenant under the lease.

You should consider speaking with the landlord directly. Explain the situation and express your interest in either taking over the lease or signing a new one. Landlords are often willing to work with residents to ensure the apartment remains rented, and they might appreciate your proactiveness in resolving the matter legally and transparently.

Additionally, it might be wise to look into local tenant laws or seek advice from a legal aid organization to understand your rights and options in this situation. This can provide guidance on how best to proceed and ensure you're making informed decisions about your housing situation. Remember, acting quickly is crucial to avoid any potential misunderstandings or legal issues with the landlord.

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