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Lease termination  



I am a landlord in Colorado. I leased a house to 2 individuals. Both names are on the lease. They signed a lease for one year. With 5 months left on the lease one of the tenants moved out. The remaining tenant wants to stay. We have our doubts that she can pay the rent and currently does not have a job. She has a guy over all the time who says he is not living there but has a boat parked in the garage and truck parked out front. We have reminded her that she needs to keep up the yard 3 days ago and the grass still isn't mowed. We have roofers working at the house. They told us that our tenants friend offered them pot. Can I terminate the lease if one of the tenants moved out? Is she in violation of the lease if her friend lives there and is not on the lease? I don't trust our tenant and I want her out. Please help.


No you cannot terminate. Both tenants are still severally and jointly liable for all terms of the lease. That means either can still pay the rent and you may pursue either for that money. See if the remaining tenant pays the rent. If not, issue notices addressed to the tenant, the departed tenant, "and all others". Demand payment of rent through your state's pay or quit notice. Make sure all paperwork relating to lease violations or eviction is addressed to both since you did not grant permission for the other to leave. That person is still fully responsible. Make sure to address any pay or quit or eviction paperwork to both tenants with the phrase "and all others" to cover any other unauthorized occupants in the household. (Otherwise, an eviction doesn't cover him!)

Read through your lease to see if it has a guest clause stating how long a guest may stay to enforce making the BF move out. If they do pay, I'd notify them in 2 months that you will not renew the lease when it ends and that they will have to be out the last day of the lease. That leaves them 3 months to find a new place, more than enough legal notice for any state.


Thank you for the info. It has been very helpful. We did know that the other person on the list was leaving because there were issues between both tenants. The tenant remaining in the house has gotten a restraining order on the tenant that left. Should we have a new lease written up for the tenant that remained? Can we require her to pay the full rent amount since she is still living in the house or can she get away with only paying half the rent? We are definitely rethinking the whole landlord situation!!


As long as the tenant is listed on the lease as being "jointly and severally liable", you don't need to do anything. The tenant is already obligated to pay the entire rent. Look for this wording in the lease (it is standard and is probably in there.) Unless you had separate leases for each tenant, or stated in the lease that each owed for 1/2 of the rent, the remaining tenant owes the whole amount. I would not change or re-write the lease in this case. Leave the other occupant on there unless both tenants and you agree to remove him. You cannot remove him without his permission (terminate his rights). He may return.


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