How to ask my roommate if I can break the lease before it ends?
February 12, 2013 5:37 PM Subscribe
I live in Cambridge, MA and share a two-bedroom apt with one roommate. We are women in our early 30's. I've been in the home for 2.5 years, with a different roommate each year. I loved my first two roommates. I invited my current roommate to move in this past Sept (met her through Craig's List) and we're a good fit. I have a sudden, burning urge to move into my own (1 bedroom) apt. Do I ask her permission, or just tell her I'm moving?
posted by AlmondEyes to Human Relations (14 answers total)
There was one precipitating incident/conflict that happened about a month ago and we talked it through. It is still stuck in my craw, however. Moreover, it just symbolically brought my interest in living alone to a head and - as I recently paid of my student loans - I can finally afford to.
My lease ends in at the end of August, but that seems a a long time to wait. I can just sense the freedom of living alone and don't want to feel constrained for six months more. My landlords like me and would be OK with my breaking the lease, I think, so long as my roommate agreed and found someone new.
How do I frame this conversation with my roommate? I'm inclined to say ~ "I have wanted to live alone for a long time [true] and, when I recently paid off my student loans, realized it's now financially feasible. I've started to look at apts. Though we didn't discuss the possibility of one of us moving mid-lease when you moved in, I'd like to hear your thoughts on it now...do you want to take a few days to think on it?"
The apt is very desirable and I'm confident she could fine someone to fill my room (though far fewer people will be looking now as compared to Sept 1), plus she could rule the roost once I left. I would offer to screen potential roommates. If I tell her now, I'd propose an April 1 move-out date. Giving a month's notice is standard practice around here, though we never discussed the terms when she moved in and I assume she was not expecting I move out mid-lease for a reason that's within my control, like this one.
From your perspective, is this a reasonable request? Do I ask her permission or just tell her it's happening? I'm nervous she could look for a new roommate, but tell me I'm stuck with the lease beyond April if she doesn't find anyone she likes within the ~6-weeks notice I give her. There are vulnerabilities here, of course, like creating more awkwardness if I don't end up moving until Sept.