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In my experience this is not true. Rental contracts (I suspect in most states) routinely seem to require joint and several liability of the named tenants. This means the landlord is free to go after everyone on the lease and he doesn't have to care if it all has to come out of one person's pocket.

I've rented in NJ, NC, and VA, and it really depends on the state's laws and the lease agreement.

In NC, my lease agreement had a fee I could pay if I wanted/needed out early.

In VA if I broke my lease, the landlord had to actively market the property, and then could only come after me for any rent amount due to the place sitting empty before he was able to refill it. But there are some shared apartment leases where the vacating roommate would pay a large fee to legally break the lease, remaining roommates would not have to re-fill the bedroom nor pay the other portion of the share until the lease is up and renewed.

In NJ, the remaining roommates would have to cover the full rent or find another roommate if they stayed in the apartment.
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