California: Rented Apartment & Lease Question

igamenekkidigamenekkid Registered User regular
edited January 2008 in Help / Advice Forum
First off, I'm in California, in case these laws differ by state.

I met my roommate about eight years ago or so through a newspaper ad, and have been living with him since. He was in the apartment around a decade before me, and had at least one roommate prior to me.

Well, I'm about to move out and get a new place with my boyfriend of a few years, and am wondering what kind of trouble I'm going to have regarding the lease. You see, I never added my name to the lease at this apartment, so I believe I'm free to just up and leave whenever. I heard at some point, from someone however, that there may be some form of "if you occupy a space for longer than X, you're automatically on the lease" law. Is that possible? I couldn't find anything online about it, and I'm hesitant to stir up trouble with my apartment manager, less it get back to my roommate (with the move out still many months away).

I asked to have my name listed as an "occupant" at one point, just in case I needed to speak with the apartment manager about something, or was locked out, but who knows exactly what that entails. The only thing I recall ever doing was giving some information for a credit check when I moved in, which last I checked was never run, which means they probably just wanted to pocket my $30.00 credit check fee.

Any help anyone with some real estate experience can provide is most appreciated.

igamenekkid on


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    kaliyamakaliyama Left to find less-moderated fora Registered User regular
    edited January 2008
    If you're not on the lease, you're not liable for it. Who told you about this lease law? I guess it's remotely possible that it's true, but These laws definitely vary between the states. My question, though, is what sort of lease agreement you have. Do you still have a long-term lease agreement, or have you just reverted to month-to-month?

    kaliyama on
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    Lord YodLord Yod Registered User regular
    edited January 2008
    Do you give money to your roommate? Yes? Then he's subletting the apartment to you, and basically he's your landlord. If you give money to the owner/manager of the property than your name should be on the rental agreement.

    There are tons of ways out of your agreement. Read this: http://www.dca.ca.gov/publications/landlordbook/index.shtml

    Typically you only need to give notice equal to one rental period, which is usually one month. If you have a lease (which specifies an end date) then you're bound for the term of the lease, but you can sublet that space out yourself to recoup the costs. (And can in fact make money on this by charging more than your payment)

    Lord Yod on
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