Ask a Rental Agent: Can I Swap Roommates in the Middle of a Lease?

Ask a Rental Agent: Can I Swap Roommates in the Middle of a Lease?

Got a question about renting? Expert leasing agents at The Rental Girl address your concerns.

Question: I’m on the 7th month of a 1-year lease and my roommate wants to move out. Can I swap roommates?

The Rental Girl: Before you do anything, you need to notify your landlord. The short of the long answer is yes, you probably can. However, most tenants get themselves in trouble when they swap roommates without notifying the landlord. If you swap roommates without notifying the landlord you may be in violation of your lease which would be grounds for an eviction. You need to notify your landlord, find out the landlord’s policy for replacing roommates, have the new roommate apply with the landlord, AND GET APPROVED. Most importantly – add the new roommate and remove the old roommate from the lease. 

I would give this same advice if you want to swap roommates after the lease has expired and your lease term has defaulted to month to month (in the case of rent controlled units, or non rent-controlled units where the landlord has not requested you to move out or sign a lease extension). Notify your landlord in writing first. Then, find a replacement roommate and have them apply with the landlord. Once the landlord has approved a roommate, make sure you have the roommate added to the lease. 


“Ask a Rental Agent” is a series of helpful Q&A’s brought to you by the lovely real estate agents at The Rental Girl . The Rental Girl is a leasing agency with branches throughout Los Angeles. Each branch is operated by a unique agent who specializes in her area. All agents at The Rental Girl are California licensed Real Estate agents who specialize in helping renters and home buyers with all their real estate needs. Do you have a question you would like answered by an agent? Fill out the form below to submit a question to The Rental Girl:

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