Signing a lease with another person, such as your wife, results in both parties being equally responsible for the rent payment. But when a relationship ends, it's common for one party to vacate a rental and request to have her name taken off the apartment lease. Leases are legally binding agreements, and removing a wife's name may require negotiating with the landlord.
Obligation to Remove Name
It's important to understand that landlords aren't obligated or required to remove a wife's name from a rental agreement simply because the relationship ended. Signing a lease agreement means that a person is liable for the rent payment for the duration of the lease agreement. The wife can vacate the premises, but if the husband stops making the payment, the landlord can seek rent payments from the wife.
Negotiating with Landlord
Some landlords are understanding and flexible in regard to the rental lease agreement. If you've maintained a good relationship with the landlord over the years and have never missed a rental payment, you can possibly negotiate modifying the rental agreement. Speak with your landlord in person to discuss the matter. Bring along copies of documentations to show evidence of a separation or divorce, if applicable.
If your landlord agrees to take your wife's name off the rental agreement, he will likely need to reevaluate your financial situation to ensure your ability to afford the rental payment on your own. This will involve supplying copies of your most recent paycheck stubs, most recent tax returns or copies of bank statements. Your landlord may also conduct a credit check to see if you can qualify for the rental on your own. If you meet the qualifications, your landlord may readily remove your wife's name from the lease agreement.
Wait Until the Lease Ends
The landlord may allow you to re-submit your financial information mid-lease and take your wife's name off the agreement before the end of the lease period. If this isn't permitted, be patient and wait until your lease expires. At this time you can end the previous lease agreement with your wife and then re-apply for a new lease on your own. You'll need to submit an application and go through the approval process to see if you qualify for the rental.