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Want to add my fianceť to my lease

Posted by Bill on April 06, 2001 at 17:36:56:

Hi -- everyone here was extremely helpful with a question I had a couple of months ago concerning a 55% increase in my rent (which turned out to be entirely legal -- tax abatement!), so I thought I'd ask here first about my latest tenant question.

After a couple of months searching for a more affordable apartment, my fianceť and I have discovered that because of past credit problems, we're considered a poor risk -- one broker all but screamed at us after discovering I was two months late with my rent in 1997, for example. So we're reluctantly settling on Plan D: my fianceť will move in with me to share cramped quarters for a year while we save money and repair our credit.

A possible problem: my renewal lease -- the one that's over $1000 per month higher than my current one -- states very clearly that the tenant is me "AND NO ONE ELSE." I haven't signed it yet (I've got two months left on my current one), but I want to add my fianceť to the lease and she certainly wants to be on it as well. If we were already married, I believe the landlord would have no choice, but the wedding's not till September.

My worry is that if I ask to add my fianceť to the lease, the landlord could demand credit checks on her and start us jumping through all the same hoops we've stumbled over in our prior search. Can I be deemed "too big a credit risk" to rent my own apartment anymore?

Further and more dire -- what if the landlord says "No" about my fianceť being added to the lease? Can he do that? Can he forbid me to move my fianceť into the apartment until we're married -- or worse, refuse to renew the lease or evict me if she moves in anyway?

What are my rights, and what's the worst that can happen? Any advice you have here will do much to ease the minds of a couple in love. Thanks!

Bill

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