Renter wants to remove her name from Lease

I have a renter for past 3 years. She has paid the initial deposit. She was divorced then. After a year, she re-married and I added her husband on the lease. The next lease was done for 2 years and it will end on November 30th, 2015. Beginning of last month, the husband asked me what will be new rent and they were going to decide whether to renew or not based on that. I increased rent by $100 per month to $1625. (since they were enjoying same rent for last 2 years) and current rent is marginally lower than going market rate. ($1650-$1700 max.) Both of them agreed and we signed new lease from 1st Dec. 2015 till 30th Nov. 2016

Today, the lady sent me a text saying “If I wanted to take my name off the lease, but leave his name because he is staying, what do I do?” to which I replied “All adults above 18 are on the lease. Your combined income is considered for rental, so both of you are responsible”.

She makes around $25K and he makes around $45-60K (depending on bonus as he is car salesman).

Now she sent another text “Ok, I am not sure what his plans are, but I think he wants to stay and move in his 1 or both od his adult children. I need to remove my name and will let you know when…Will he need to reapply with his kids if he moved them in”

My concern:

  1. Can she unilaterally ask me to take her name off the lease? Am I under obligation to oblige? (Property is in TX).
  2. She paid original deposit. How do I handle that?
  3. I am not comfortable if his adult children are moving in. (Not sure how old they are)
  4. What is he doesn’t qualify based on his income alone?

I would like the property to be rented continuously, because this time of year may be bad to find tenants & market in slow. I am in a dilemma what I should do. Any advise how to handle this situation is greatly appreciated.


★ As long as she lives in the house, she stays on the lease.
★ The adult children get to pull their pants down for an anal exam of their credit, etc., and sign on the lease within 10 days of their occupancy …subject to the credit check (which they should pay for, as a condition of their occupancy.
★ If you’re paying utilities, you have more justification for more rent.
★ If you want continuity, don’t raise the rent, add kids to lease, same 24/mo term, and call it a day.

:: She won’t be staying in the house anymore, that’s why she wants her name removed from lease.
:: I do not pay utilities, so it is not applicable.
:: yes, new adult members will be added to lease.
The question is should I remove her name? What are issues associated with it? What precaution I should take?

Issue: If she’s moving out, then she’s off the lease, and you transfer the deposit to the remaining/new occupant. This means billing the new occupant, and refunding to the old.

Issue: Existing repairs and maintenance now due and necessary. The liability doesn’t start from scratch with the remaining/new occupant. He’s assuming the existing liabilities.

Issue: A move-out inspection is now necessary, where the costs to repair/restore the unit from the last move-in inspection, are immediately deducted from the existing deposit, with the balance credited to the exiting tenant. The overall deposit must be replenished by the remaining/new occupant as a condition of occupancy. AND you get those funds from the remaining/new occupant, BEFORE you refund to the exiting tenant.

Issue: I don’t understand. You said you rented to her, and ‘then’ she got married, etc.

Evidently, you felt that her $25k income was enough to pay the rent.

So, why is the husband’s $45k a question?

Issue: Tenant’s kids don’t move in, until they’ve been screened. No criminals, no deadbeats, no evictions, without a cosigner, and/or additional deposit to cover additional risk.

Issue: The kids have probably already moved in, and are “just visiting.” All the more reason to get the credit reports, and signed leases a.s.a.p.

Issue: You’re being set up for a fall. Nobody ‘gets married’ and then moves out on their husband, who happens to be moving in some “room mates” (aka ‘his kids’ aka son and new girlfriend/fiance) to pay the bills.

You’re gonna be chasing rents, tenants, and more move-ins, move-outs, credit checks, hassles, re-inspections and the list goes on. Trust me.


Option ONE:
Offer six month lease with the “husband,” and his brood of vipers, until it’s easy to re-rent this coming summer, and then start over with a stable family, instead of the serial divorcee crowd you’ve attracted. Just saying.


Option TWO:
Say to the Mr. High Maintenance and his spawn:

“I’ll rent to the whole brood of you for $600/person, for 24/mos, with an additional deposit of $800/person, starting today.”

This makes the rent $1800/mo and the deposit $2400, plus whatever you have left on hand. Works for me, unless I discover a pedophile, or an serial eviction wannabie in the credit report.

That’s all I’ve got.

The reason I rented to her in first year was because she just got divorced & paid rent for entire year upfront.
She remarried within 10 months and their combined income was enough so I renewed lease for 2 more years.
With her income alone, I would not have renewed lease.

Thanks for your suggestion to do final walk-through & getting deposit from him, BEFORE releasing deposit to her.

I searched on the internet and it appears that I am under no obligation to remove her name from the lease.

The question is

  1. Should I terminate the current lease and make a new lease with her husband/his adult children (assuming they qualify)?
  2. Make amendment to existing lease after I ensure that both of them agree? Sample form is available here.
  3. Refuse to remove her name from the lease and hold her responsible to the lease terms? At the most, I can ask her to talk to her lawyer.
  4. Tell her to make necessary agreement with her husband and not get me involved?

Which option is best for lease continuation and least painful to me? What would you do in a similar situation?