Ask Alice: Advice for Life at Home

Alice, We Broke Up, Who Gets The Apartment?

updated May 4, 2019
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Dear Alice,

My boyfriend and I recently broke up but we have 5 months left on our lease. We moved into this place together and both of our names are on the lease so there’s no real clear-cut answer about who has to move. We both want the apartment (or actually, who knows, maybe we just each don’t want the other person to have it). Right now we’re co-existing but it’s pretty strained. What should we do?


Single and nearly homeless

Dear Single and nearly homeless,

First of all, I’m so sorry this terrible situation is happening to you. That is really NO FUN.

Now, let’s get something out of the way: someone has to move out, stat. Under no circumstances should you continue to live together. Yep, it’s super stressful to move, especially piled on top of an already incredibly sad time, but staying in that home is doing you more harm than good. It’s just not worth the mental anguish. You need to start the acceptance and healing phases of your breakup and neither of you will be able to do that when faced with the other person’s face every minute of the day.

You don’t say what exactly caused your breakup, but I’d say, whoever ended the relationship is the one who should bite the bullet and pack up. It’s only fair.

If your boyfriend won’t play ball and agree to these terms, then you need to just be the bigger person and leave the apartment and him behind. Your sanity is worth more than fighting about it, especially now.

In any case, whoever moves out should be sure to be officially taken off the lease. It shouldn’t be a problem as long as one party stays and retains responsibility for the time remaining. Get everything in writing because your goal is to have as little conflict (and contact) as possible, moving forward.

Wishing you the very best. Be extra nice to yourself; you’ll bounce back in no time.



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