Question: If I have co-signed a lease for an apartment and my co-signee moves out before our lease is up with no intention of paying anything more or finding a replacement, what is my next step if I can’t afford the rent on my own?
- Your cosigner is still responsible for the rent. If you cannot find a new tenant and end up in court over this mess, your cosigner will be sued along with you. So remind your cosigner of this fact and inform him that he has an obligation to pay until you are able to find an acceptable replacement under the terms of your lease. If necessary, you can sue your cosigner yourself to get your share of the rent from him following the law and time required to do so. But none of that will stop you from getting kicked out if you can’t pay your rent.
- Look at your lease and find out whether there is an obligation to obtain approval for a replacement tenant.
- Find a replacement tenant following the terms of the lease.
- If you cannot find a replacement tenant and cannot afford the rent, seek to terminate the lease. If possible, share the pain by suing the person who decided it was a good idea to walk out on his legal and financial responsibilities.
- Don’t hide from your landlord. Make him aware of what is going on. He is more likely to be willing to deal with you if you are up front.