The long-time married
couple who rents one of my apartments is going through a nasty divorce. I’m not
sure who is moving out, or if both of them are moving out. What should I be
In addition to the emotional issues involved when a couple
who has renting an apartment together break up, landlords need to be aware of several
The best advice for dealing with a married couple who is
going through a nasty breakup is this: Try not to get involved. It’s not your responsibility to figure out
who should leave and whether one cotenant can keep the other out of the rental.
There’s one big exception, however—and that is if domestic violence is
involved. Call the police immediately if you hear or witness violence between
tenants (married or not). The partner who is threatened may be entitled to get
a quick court order restraining the other partner from coming near him or her. For more on the subject of domestic violence,
see the Nolo articles Domestic
Violence and Domestic Abuse and Legal
Protections for Tenants Who Are Victims of Domestic Violence.
For detailed information on the legal and
practical issues of renting to cotenants, see Nolo’s book Every
Landlord’s Legal Guide.