The Legalities Of Love: What You Need To Know About Apartment Leases Before Cohabiting

Posted on: 12 September 2014

So you and your mate have decided that you should live together. Cohabitation among unmarried couples has become an increasingly common progression in relationships. But before agreeing to share an apartment with a significant other, consider these important factors regarding rentals, co-tenants and the shared property that exists within such a space.

LEASE AGREEMENTS                                                                 

Although you and your partner are not legally bonded to each other through marriage, one or both of you may be legally tied to a rental. The signing of a lease for an apartment signifies your attachment and responsibility to said property by law. When deciding to cohabit, you could find yourself in one of these two rental situations.

Renting A New Place Together

If the two of you choose to rent a new apartment together, both of your names will appear on the lease. You both decide to combine your incomes in order to afford that better apartment with the extra room and amenities. As co-tenants, you are equally responsible for paying the rent and being held accountable for damages.

Unfortunately, the love that you'd hope would last forever dissolves. Following the breakup, one of you agrees to move out. But it's not as simple as packing up and leaving. Because you both signed a legal contract to stay in the apartment for a year or for whatever term, property management has to be notified.

Even if one of you wants to keep the apartment, the landlord has the legal right to make the both of you move if the remaining person's income doesn't meet rental requirements to cover rent and additional utilities.  

Moving Into An Already Occupied Apartment

In the event that one partner decides to move into the already leased apartment of another, the landlord should be notified as well because occupancy terms of the original lease are changing. Now you both have equal rights to reside in the apartment and the share of responsibilities.

If the relationship ends, the person who initially resided in the apartment could simply kick the ex out, considering no changes were made to the lease to add him or her as a co-tenant. The one asked to leave is now faced with the task of finding a new place to live along with the hassle of moving, application processes, deposits and so forth.   


During the time you all lived together, you purchased several items together ranging from furniture to electronics. If the two of you can't come to mutual terms about who gets what, one of you may be at a loss. Receipts showing purchases with an individual credit card, rather than a joint account, may be the only thing that proves who should get what.

For more information about apartment rentals, contact H & R Property Management or a similar company.