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barristerinky
barristerinky, Attorney
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 33781
Experience:  Attorney for over 15 years, landlord 26 years
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What kind of proof do I need to terminate my lease based on

Customer Question

What kind of proof do I need to terminate my lease based on safety concerns?
Submitted: 8 months ago.
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Expert:  barristerinky replied 8 months ago.
Hello and welcome! My name is ***** ***** I am a licensed attorney who will try my very best to help with your situation or get you to someone who can. There may be a slight delay in my responses as I research statutes or ordinances and type out an answer or reply, but rest assured, I am working on your question..
Expert:  barristerinky replied 8 months ago.
Can you give me some more details about your situation?.What safety concerns are you having with the property?.How long have you been a tenant?.Do the issued affect the habitability of the property?.Have you addressed your concerns to the landlord and asked for repairs?..thanksBarrister
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
I have lived in my apartment since November and signed a one year lease. Over the past 4 months though I have felt very unsafe in my complex. I looked at police reports and since November, the cops have been called to my area 40 times, one of which was me. I called after my neighbor got in a dispute with someone, started screaming and throwing things around his apartment. At one point, he hit our shared wall so hard that a picture frame fell off a shelf in another room. Apart from these concerns, I have had packages stolen, there have been homeless people sleeping in our con joining hallway and there is a door that is constantly propped open, allowing anyone in the building. I am and ER nurse with weird hours so I get home at all hours of the night. As a single girl who lives alone, I am constantly on edge. One month ago I verbally spoke with my landlord about my concerns and my desire to terminate my lease. At the time he said he had one other unit to get rented out and then he would start working on mine. Recently I asked for an update on him finding new tenants and he not only states he now has 2 he needs to fill before mine but he said he won't even attempt to fill it until I am completely moved out. I have offered to post an add, trying to promote my unit as well as said I can be out with 30 minutes notice anytime he wants to show my place. He said, and I quote "that is too much work for me. I refuse to show your apartment until your gone".
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
I'm just curious if having police records which indicate the cops have been here 40 times is enough to try to argue he is providing an unsafe environment, allowing me to break my lease
Expert:  barristerinky replied 8 months ago.
I am very sorry to hear that you are having to deal with this issue with your apartment. Unfortunately, the landlord is not responsible for the illegal actions of third party individuals who might be breaking the law. The landlord has a contractual duty to provide you with a "habitable" dwelling that meets all local housing and code ordinances, but that is about it. .So if the area has a high crime rate or high police incident rate, the landlord can't legally be held accountable for what is happening in the neighborhood and that wouldn't give you legal grounds to terminate your lease without repercussions..There is not any type of "hardship" escape clause in a lease unless it was specifically stated in the lease. If you are under a written lease for a set term, then if you break the lease, the landlord can potentially hold you liable for up to the entire remaining term of the lease. If the neighborhood situation has changed, it would not give you legal grounds to get out of the lease without any repercussions..However, if you feel that you have to break your lease, the landlord has a duty to mitigate his damages by attempting to re-rent the unit as soon as possible. Once he does so, he can only hold you liable for his actual damages in the form of any lost rent and advertising costs. So if it takes him 1 or 2 months to rent it again, he can only hold you liable for that lost rent plus any advertising costs. .So to minimize your potential liability, if you have to breach, make sure you leave the place as close to spotless as you can so the landlord can immediately put it on the market and hopefully rent it quickly..I am very sorry that I don’t have better news, but please understand that I do have an ethical and professional obligation to provide customers with legally correct answers based on my knowledge and experience, even when I know the answer doesn’t make the customer happy.....thanksBarrister