Can someone be added to the rent contract without extending its term?
August 21, 2006 11:26 AM   Subscribe

Can someone be added to the rent contract without extending its term?

I intend to move to a friend's apartment (split rent), but his contract (1-year) expires at the end of the year, and after it expires, we intend to move away from there.

But, in order to get my part of the rent reimbursed, I need my name added to the contract. Is it possible to add my name to the contract without renewing it for another year period (so that we don't have to pay a penalty if we leave after the end of the original term in december)?
posted by qvantamon to Law & Government (8 answers total)
Landlord/tenant stuff like this is going to be highly jurisdiction-specific. Where is the apartment?
posted by Brian James at 11:29 AM on August 21, 2006

Best answer: Yes, if you, your friend, and the landlord sign a short document that adds you as a tenant for the period between now and the end of the lease, and otherwise incorporates the other terms of the lease. All you need is an addendum that indicates you will also be a tenant, and that all other terms of the lease remain unmodified.
posted by MrZero at 11:31 AM on August 21, 2006

You may also be able to sublease the apartment. That would only include a contract between you and your friend stating that you will pay half the rent for the rest of the year... but that may not be enough for your reimbursment (which I'm assuming your job/whatever is doing)... something to check into, though.
posted by triolus at 11:33 AM on August 21, 2006

Also depends on the language of the lease. It could say otherwise.
posted by Ironmouth at 11:39 AM on August 21, 2006

Response by poster: Seattle metro area. I had originally included this information (yes, I know it's important), but somehow I managed to delete it in the last edit and oversee this in preview.
posted by qvantamon at 11:43 AM on August 21, 2006

It also depends how agreeable the property owner/manager is. Frankly, if you are going to be living there anyway, it is in everyone's interest that you be on the lease, and I can't imagine a reputable landlord not putting you on the lease (although he may insist you submit an application). As far as subletting goes, it may not be permitted under the original lease.
posted by ilsa at 1:28 PM on August 21, 2006

Best answer: Short answer: it's completely possible within the law and completely up to your landlord to say yea or nay.

Longer answer: It is possible if the landlord agrees to it. Barring illegal activity and personal rights which cannot be signed away, you can write any contract for anything so long as each party receives some consideration and you can write a short amendment to an existing contract with all parties agreement.

The real question is, will the landlord agree to a rider with these stipulations? And nobody can know this till they ask, though you might have past experience that will give you some idea.

Presuming the landlord has no objection to a 2nd person living there I think you have a decent chance of success. After all, if all you want to do is provide the landlord with a 2nd person who can be sued if the rent doesn't get paid then why would s/he refuse?

I think the better question is "why bother?" If you want legal protection then just write an agreement with your buddy. If your buddy's lease prohibits you living there without being on the lease then you have less leverage with the landlord and s/he might want to take advantage of the opportunity to lock you in longer.
posted by phearlez at 1:47 PM on August 21, 2006

Response by poster: Just to add closure to the thread, my friend asked his landlord, and actually, I must be added to the contract if I want to live there. And it can be done without extending the term. Thanks everyone.
posted by qvantamon at 9:36 PM on August 23, 2006

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