Tenants broke up...how does this work?

Two tenants went together on a lease. I put both names on the lease to have more wages to garnish should i need to. One was a poor applicant and the other was good. In hindsight this might have been a bad idea.

They broke up and the bad applicant wants to stay. She can’t.

The good applicant gave me notice, but her name wasn’t on it. Does that count as legal notice?

I told the guy they are both on the hook if she doesn’t move out, but I get the feeling that isn’t going to happen. He said I’ll get December rent and I’ve been paid for November, so I guess I’ve got until Jan 31 to figure this out and get them out. Just need to figure out where to start.

Alternately, it’s a terrible time for a vacancy. I might get a few months rent out of her if she stays and it will probably be vacant until march/april if she leaves. I am just convinced this is a terrible idea. I can do a week-to-week tenant in Kansas, the eviction laws are better and faster.

You have nothing to worry about. He cannot remove himself from the lease unless you give him a written waiver releasing him. At this point, he’s a cosigner. He’s on the hook for whatever you can’t collect from her. That’s how I cosign, for instance, university students with no credit history–I add a parent on as a tenant even though the parent lives several hundred miles away. It’s all legal.

What if he gives me notice to vacate and she isn’t compliant? Do both have to give notice to end the agreement?

Yes, both of them have to give you a notice to vacate or both continue to be legally on the lease. My lawyer explained it to me that it is a legal rule. It’s like if someone buys a car or a house and the bank asks for a cosigner for the mortgage. A cosigner cannot exercise an option to remove themselves as a cosign on the mortgage without consent from the bank because it’s not an option under the law for a cosigner to do that. He becomes a cosigner if he moves out and when you evict her for nonpayment you name both parties and you get a judgment for damages against both parties. Confirm it with your lawyer if you like. It’s a legal rule. He’s the one who’s screwed, not you.