As a newlywed couple, you likely want to share everything. Unfortunately, marriage alone isn't always enough to allow you to share your dwelling. There are no federal laws that give you permission to move your spouse into a home or apartment you're leasing without getting the go-ahead from your landlord. In some cases, your landlord may even choose not to allow your husband to move into the home at all.
If you get married after signing a lease, you must inform your landlord. State laws vary, but the landlord will likely require your husband to complete an application to have his name added to the lease. He needs to meet the same qualifications as any other applicant. Most landlords review the applicant's credit, criminal background, employment and prior rental history. If your husband has poor credit, the landlord often requires an additional security deposit to add his name to your lease. Landlords may overlook a less-than-stellar credit score, but some issues, such as a criminal background, can result in a denial. In New York, your husband can automatically be added to your lease without having to complete a new application. Rent may also increase when you add another party. In California, a landlord has the right to raise rent as much as 10 percent for adding another occupant.
If you are living in an income-restricted community, the landlord may need to reevaluate your income to ensure you are still eligible. The income requirements are typically based on the number of people occupying the property. If you exceed the income limit, the landlord may be unable to approve your husband's application.
If you don't anticipate your husband gaining approval due to credit, inquire about adding him as an authorized occupant. The lease remains solely in your name, and your spouse has the right to stay in the home. However, you are responsible for the the rent and liable for any damages. If something were to happen to you, such as death or abandoning the property, your spouse would have no right to stay in the home.
Breaking the Lease
Marriage is not considered a legal reason to break a lease. If your husband is not approved to live in the home, you are unable to break the lease without facing early termination fees or a possible lawsuit. Lease agreements can limit the number of days a guest is allowed to stay in the property. The landlord has the right to evict you for violating the terms of your lease agreement.
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