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barristerinky
barristerinky, Attorney
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 34317
Experience:  Attorney over 16 years, landlord 26 years
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I have had to file a restraining order against my neighbor

Customer Question

I have had to file a restraining order against my neighbor after a year of harrisment, threats and profanity. Beacuse of this am I legally able to break my lease in virginia?
JA: Because laws vary from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?
Customer: Norfolk virginia
JA: Has anything been filed or reported?
Customer: There have been police calls I have also filed a protection order and kept documentation of instances
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: No
Submitted: 14 days ago.
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Expert:  barristerinky replied 14 days ago.

Hello and welcome! My name is ***** ***** I am a licensed attorney and will try my best to help with your situation. 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.

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I am sorry to hear you are having so much trouble with the neighbor. Unfortunately that would not give you legal grounds to terminate your lease. Under your lease, the landlord has a legal duty to provide a habitable dwelling that meets all minimum Code requirements, but that is about it. He doesn't have to make sure that you get along with your neighbors.

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So as long as he is providing a habitable dwelling, he is complying with his legal obligations and your problems with the neighbor wouldn't give you a legal reason to break the lease.

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If the neighbor violated the order, that is a criminal act that they alone can be held accountable for..

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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.

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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.

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thanks

Barrister