Joint lease and notice


New Member
There's two people total on the lease. I put in my 60 day notice. I was then told that I need permission from roommate to leave the lease.

Relevant details of the lease: It was fixed termed from 11/20/20 to 1/31/21 and has since turned month to month. I received no notice of renewal but based off the lease when it goes month to month... it automatically renews per notice period. The notice period it ask for 60 days.

I put in my notice to vacate/leave the lease at the end of February. So I am expected to dip by the end of April.

So my question is do I really need the permission of my roommate to end my tenancy/vacate on a month to month? Wouldn't my permission be enough to end my or our tenancy and then the remaining roommate looks to negotiate with the landlord?

I'm also getting the impression that the roommate can theoretically lock me in this month to month without her permission as the landlord seems to be counting us as one entity based off what my landlord told me.

So what are my options and is there particular case law regarding a situation like this?
This is a common problem with roommate arrangements which is one damned good reason never to have roommate arrangements.

Joint and several liability means that you and your roommate are a single entity. You go, she stays, you are both obligated until she goes.

You will need her written agreement to release you from obligations to her. You will need written agreement from the LL releasing your obligations to the LL.

The LL, however, doesn't care who pays the rent as long as it gets paid so your roommate is going to have to pay the full rent.

Understand that you have two contracts here. The lease with the LL and an oral (or even implied) contract with the roommate to split the rent and expenses.

The contract with the roommate is not a landlord-tenant relationship. Once you breach the agreement with your roommate she is required by law to mitigate her damages by finding another roommate as soon as reasonably possible. You would only be obligated to her for that amount of time.

The following site has an explanation of mitigation and a link to a case decision.

The Duty to Mitigate Damages in Minnesota | The Jensen Litigation Firm, PLLC

The LL, OTOH, has no such duty with a lease contract.

"In Minnesota, landlords are under no obligation to mitigate damages after a tenant abandons leased premises. Gruman v. Investors Diversified 741*741 Services, Inc., 247 Minn. 502, 78 N.W.2d 377 (1956); Poboisk v. Colon, 292 Minn. 451, 195 N.W.2d 431 (1972)."

The landlord is not likely to be coming after you for anything as long as he gets the full rent from your roommate.

Your roommate, however, will have a cause of action for reimbursement of your share of the rent and expenses for the reasonable amount of time that it takes to find a replacement. Reasonable depends on a variety of unforeseeable factors. Could be two weeks, could be months, depending on circumstances. You won't be able to address that until it happens.

Oh, one more thing. Count on losing your security deposit. Your roommate can eventually apply it to your share of what you owe her.