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Lucy, Esq.
Lucy, Esq., Attorney
Category: Landlord-Tenant
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Experience:  Attorney
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Misrepresentation and non disclosure, breach of duty.

Customer Question

Misrepresentation and non disclosure, breach of duty. Landlord/tenant. state of iowa. 1. Had early termination of rental lease in which I would take over co-leased rental. 2. Landlord failed to disclose, false light information printed about me, which
let former co-leasor, completely out of the lease without penalty 3. Landlord rejected any options I provided, for financial compensation from co-leasor, for early termination of rental lease. Such as pay 90 days worth or find new room mate 4. Landlord allowed
co-leasor to set all the terms including termination date/renewal 5. After the new lease signed, information comes to me in print, that false light/defamating type emails were sent to him, by co-leasor, without a chance of rebuttal.He claimed later he was
unaware of any problems between co leasers. Do I have a tortable suit in the state of Iowa, for anything on this?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Hi,

I'm Lucy, and I'd be happy to answer your questions today. I'm sorry to hear that this happened.

First of all, if you and your roommate had an agreement that rent would be paid, your landlord has no legal authority to release your roommate from it. They could agree to let the roommate move out without penalty, and could agree to reduce your rent as a result, but the landlord can't say, "Okay, Betty, you're allowed to move out, and Barney will have to pay all your rent now" (unless there was domestic violence involved). You can still sue your former co-tenant for unpaid rent until you found someone new to move in.

False light is a type of invasion of privacy. When someone disseminates information that is technically true but presented in a false light, and as a result harms the person's reputation, the injured party may be able to sue for damages. A false light claim carries both pecuniary loss, plus punitive damages. However, that requires a widespread dissemination, not a comment to one person. But you could sue for intentional interference with contract or defamation. So those are three separate theories under which you could sue the former co-tenant. That's the person who injured you, not the landlord.

If you have any questions or concerns about my response, please reply WITHOUT RATING. It's important that you are 100% satisfied with my courtesy and professionalism. Otherwise, please rate my service positively so I am paid for the time I spend answering questions. If you are on a mobile device, you may need to scroll to the right. There is no charge for follow-up questions. Thank you.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
oh yes it was a domestic violence claim. She had told him the week before in an email, that I was was being abusive to her verbally and was afraid of it turning physical, she needed out of lease ASAP. landlord told me he was unaware of any problems between us, but she leveraged him, to get herself off the lease. Our tensions started, when she snooped through my email and found inappropriate correspondence with another woman. Then the hell hath......began. I have never touched that woman, he believed her email. I did not see the scheming behind the scenes she was doing till too late. THe worst I had ever said to her was, no arguing in front of my son, shut the F up now. She then pearl harbored me, with a no contact order, that got me and my son kicked out of the residence. She got me good!
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
I'm sorry to hear that this happened. How awful.
If she's claiming domestic violence, the landlord has to let her off the lease without a penalty. But you still have the option to sue her if it's not true and she made up the claim in order to get out of the lease and stick you with the full rent.

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