Sooo... Can I "break" my apartment lease?

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by seenew, Dec 27, 2009.

  1. seenew macrumors 68000

    seenew

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2005
    Location:
    Brooklyn
    #1
    So I hate my roommates (didn't use to, but they have become a**holes, never help with cleaning, etc), I hate my apartment (it's falling apart and has no insulation and rats or something in the ceiling) and I want to move out.

    I never actually signed a lease or any paperwork. I came into town late and my roommates had already signed everything and started moving in before I got there. I had no idea what a sh**hole it was or anything.

    The only legal paperwork they have on me, that I know of, is my rent checks and my deposit check.

    I want to move out, and I am trying to figure out if I can. The lease (that I didn't sign) isn't up until next September.

    If it means anything, I am living in Georgia, so we'd be going by those laws.
    Any help is appreciated!
     
  2. dukebound85 macrumors P6

    dukebound85

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    #2
    you didnt sign a lease so youre arent obligated
     
  3. ravenvii macrumors 604

    ravenvii

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    #3
    This. It's on your roommates' head. They gotta pony up, whether you're there or not.
     
  4. r.j.s Moderator emeritus

    r.j.s

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    #4
    Since you paid the deposit money, you might be out that, but like was said above, if you didn't sign any lease - you have no obligation to stay.
     
  5. dmr727 macrumors G3

    dmr727

    Joined:
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    Southern California
    #5
    Like others have said, it doesn't sound like you're under any legal obligation. But it'd be cool of you to at least give them a bit of notice so they have time to find a replacement.
     
  6. seenew thread starter macrumors 68000

    seenew

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    #6
    Well yes, I'd let them know. What do you guys think would be the best way to go about this?

    Tell them first or the landlord? Or how to I actually ask the landlord if they think I am bound by some kind of verbal agreement?
     
  7. dukebound85 macrumors P6

    dukebound85

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    #7
    You arent bound if you didnt sign

    If you want to move, you can move out any time, notice or no notice...you didnt sign the lease

    How did you pay the security deposit though? Just paid your roomies? as they would have had to pay it all up front
     
  8. r.j.s Moderator emeritus

    r.j.s

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Texas
    #8
    You and the landlord have no agreement, it seems, so you wouldn't have to tell them anything. Verbal agreements won't hold for a lease.

    It'd be nice to tell your roommates, but you don't have to. If you were to just move, your roommates would still be responsible for paying the next month's rent.
     
  9. SilentPanda Moderator emeritus

    SilentPanda

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    #9
    Does the landlord know you are there? All the leases I've ever signed state that nobody except those that signed the lease are to live there. So if your landlord doesn't know you live there it'd probably be best not to talk to them.

    If your deposit was just to your friends then you'd need to get it back from them, not the landlord.
     
  10. velocityg4 macrumors 68040

    velocityg4

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2004
    Location:
    Georgia
    #10
    Let your roommates know first. You don't really have any obligation to the land lord so whether or not you let the land lord know is really up to you. Though I doubt the land lord would care since you are not signed on the lease. If you are friends with the land lord you might give that person the heads up.
     
  11. synth3tik macrumors 68040

    synth3tik

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    #11
    If your not on the lease your out nothing. It was kind of stupid for your roommates to treat you like crap considering they would have no legal recourse.
     
  12. ucfgrad93 macrumors P6

    ucfgrad93

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    Colorado
    #12
    Agreed.

    To add to this, if you tell the landlord, he may want you out immediately. I would just try and find a new place, move out, then get your deposit back from whoever you gave it to.
     
  13. MaskedPhantom macrumors regular

    MaskedPhantom

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    Feb 26, 2007
    Location:
    New York
    #13
    In most states, if there's no written lease, then it is an automatic month-to-month tenancy, and you must give 30 days notice before moving out. I don't know if Georgia's laws regarding this are different, but this is what I have gathered from watching The People's Court and consulting my mother, who is studying law.
     
  14. r.j.s Moderator emeritus

    r.j.s

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    #14
    Yeah, but in most states, there is a written lease.
     
  15. BlackiBook macrumors 6502

    BlackiBook

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    #15
    I worked in 4 different apartment complexes in four different states and none of them ever had this automatic month-to-month tenancy! If that was the case somewhere that you know of then it was an agreement between the apartment owner/manager and the tenant, not a law.

    Edit: sorry for the misleading post! What I meant is it doesn't mean it was a law, but it could be! (For all I know the four states I worked in were the only ones without this law!) :D
     
  16. MaskedPhantom macrumors regular

    MaskedPhantom

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    Location:
    New York
    #16
    When you pay your rent and the landlord accepts that payment, an automatic contract for that next month is put into place. Not all on contracts are on paper as I'm sure you know of.
     
  17. SilentPanda Moderator emeritus

    SilentPanda

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    #17
    Unless he's paying his roommates who then in turn pay the landlord which is what I'm guessing he's doing.
     
  18. seenew thread starter macrumors 68000

    seenew

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2005
    Location:
    Brooklyn
    #18
    Okay to clear some stuff up:

    I mailed a check for the deposit to one of my roommates ahead of time and he included it with his check and our other roommate's check in one envelope and mailed them together.

    We each pay one third of the rent every month by check. One of us takes all three checks in one envelope and drops it off at the office. I've only done it once, but left it in the mailbox.

    I also forgot to mention I dropped by their office to pay a pet deposit which also has my name on it... Do you think that changes anything?

    I feel like if I just stop paying rent, or tell them I am moving with the intention of not paying rent, they will try and sue me or something...
     
  19. SilentPanda Moderator emeritus

    SilentPanda

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    Oct 8, 2002
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    The Bamboo Forest
    #19
    If you didn't sign a lease, you're not on the lease and there's not much anybody can do as far as I know. If I were you, I'd get a copy of the lease from one of your roommates and read it. The lease can really contain whatever the landlord wants so who know? Odds are you are in the clear but between reading the lease and doing some research that's probably all you'll know. You may also want to look up "Tenant At Will" since it sounds like the landlord does know you are there.

    Sounds like you might have to give 30 days notice to the landlord but otherwise you are free to go.

     
  20. BlackiBook macrumors 6502

    BlackiBook

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    #20
    Yes not all contracts are on paper but he could easily say that he has been helping a friend out who is in need by paying some of his rent... Just because he has given them a check does not mean he is obligated to live there.... Do you think that the minute an apartment complex gets a check with someones name who hasn't signed a lease we write their names down on the lease? No, or parents would never be paying their kids rent.... What I am saying his No they can not hold him to anything unless his roommates tell the landlord he is living there before he moves out in which case they can either kick him out or ask him to sign the lease.
     
  21. BlackiBook macrumors 6502

    BlackiBook

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    #21
    But this concern those "tenants-at will" who pay month to month and have a predetermined conditions to their agreement with the landlord. No agreement was made between the landlord and the tenant here concerning his month to month occupancy, so he is not covered under this. If the Landlord knows he lives there and hasn't talked to him about the payment options and lease options then the landlord is basically looking the other way and taking the checks. Once he is out the only proof the landlord could have to sue him is either tapes of the tenant entering and leaving the apartment on a more than regular basis or having his friends testify against him.
     
  22. Surely Guest

    Surely

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2007
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    #22
    SilentPanda and BlackiBook seem to be on the right track with their advice.

    But really, before you do anything, you should really seek advice from an attorney in Georgia.
     
  23. mac88 macrumors 6502

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    Location:
    Boston, MA.
    #23
    Absolutely correct.
     
  24. Koodauw macrumors 68040

    Koodauw

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    Location:
    Madison
    #24
    But if you take a verbal or implied contract to court, they hold up about as well as the paper they are written on.
     
  25. BlackiBook macrumors 6502

    BlackiBook

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    Location:
    Norman, Oklahoma
    #25
    Which is why the landlord would most likely (if he is not dumb) go after the people on the lease for the missing rent and not the OP, because the landlord already has them by the balls....
     

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