Sharing a Lease?

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Dear Ellen:
I am trying to figure out if I should put my boyfriend’s name on my lease.  He moved into my apartment last month. My lease runs till November, and him and I have been dating for 6 months.  I am very nervous about sharing any kind of responsibility with anyone because I always worry what if something happens?  How will I ensure they pay their half?  He pays me every month on time, his half of the rent.  But in your opinion, should I add him on or should I just keep mine on it. I have him listed as living with me so the leasing office knows at least.  I am really just stuck. I can still afford it on my own so I’m not screwed if he leaves.  I want to have a place of my own no matter what happens.  Thanx so much!

Hi Jenna!
Well you have some options.  If you want to keep your apartment no matter what, then maybe you should just keep it the way it is. That way, if you guys don’t work out you still have your own place and you aren’t “stuck” living with him.  Maybe if all goes well and November comes, and you guys are in a very good place in your relationship, then you can consider putting it on.  But in my opinion, I think you are fine just as you are right now.  If you couldn’t afford the place on your own, it might be a little different.  You sound pretty confident, I think you just needed a second opinion. Good luck!


  1. My only advice is: IF you do decide to share a lease please get it IN WRITING what happens if you should break up. Have a contract written up. If you don't want to pay a lawyer then write something up yourself and both sign it and have it notorized.

    State in the contract how much you each pay, (a percentage is best because if you put a dollar amount then what happens if the rent goes up?) what you are both responsible for such as damages, security deposits, etc and especially what happens if you break up. You'll want to state which one must move out, etc.

    That's my two cents... ;)

  2. Whatever you decide, just know if he lives with you, you're legally obligated to evict him legally. Meaning 30 days notices and all the mess that could come along with it if he decides he doesn't want to go peacefully (then you'll have to get the courts involved). Good luck.


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