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Attorney & Counselor at Law
Attorney & Counselor at Law, Attorney
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Experience:  Corporate, Entertainment & Trial attorney with large law firm & Fortune 500 client experience.
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We are two young female students who live in an apartment complex..

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We are two young female students who live in an apartment complex.. We were forced out of our last apartment due to it's condemnation from Hurricane Ike. We were given only five days to find a new home. We were told that the lease we would be signing would be a three month lease. Upon move in day (the same day we signed our lease) they would only offer a six month lease. We had no other place to go, and our belongings were waiting on the moving truck. Since December, my car has been broken into twice, and the shed off of our porch has been broken into. Accordingly, a woman was mugged directly outside our door two months ago, and there were several other criminal mishaps that other neighbors experienced. In addition, our refrigerator had been broken for two months, after we had requested it be fixed three times. The gate that allows residence through has been "broken" since the day we moved in, and we were promised upon moving in that it would be taken care of shortly. We fear for our lives every time we have to walk to our apartment in the dark. We need to get out of this lease legally. Any suggestions?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Daniel Solutions replied 5 years ago.
In what state do you live?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Texas
Expert:  Attorney & Counselor at Law replied 5 years ago.
Hi - Although you are living with a difficult situation, you should be very careful before breaking lease. Houston area apartments are very strict about enforcing leases to the full extent of the law.

If you break your lease without legal authority, you could be responsible for 1) Accelerated rent - the total mount due for all remaining months left on the lease, and 2) Reletting fees that the apartment will charge for having to re rent your unit, 3) Pius additional fees for move out or damages as stated in the lease.

Also, you should know that many apartment complexes communicate with each other about past tenants. If you break your current lease, you could find it difficult to obtain another apartment in the Houston area.
Your credit rating could also be affected if the landlord decides to sue to collect unpaid rent, and you are unable to satisfy the judgment.

That said, you may be able to legally get out of your lease because of the conditions of the property. Particularly if the safety issues constitute negligence on the part of the landlord. Also, if you relied on a functioning gate when you entered into the lease, the lack of a functioning gate may be grounds for lease termination. Most leases are complex and you will need to read it very carefully to determine if you can escape without penalty.

I recommend you contact The Texas Office of the Attorney General, Consumer Protection Division for advice.(NNN) NNN-NNNN

http://www.oag.state.tx.us/AG_Publications/pdfs/tenant_rights.pdf

Also, the local Houston Apartment Association specializes in assisting people in you situation.(NNN) NNN-NNNN

http://www.haaonline.org/web/2006/11/mediation.aspx

These two organizations would be best equipped to tell you whether the conditions would allow you to break your lease. Also, you can submit complaints to each respective agency.

Stay safe and good luck!
Attorney & Counselor at Law, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 850
Experience: Corporate, Entertainment & Trial attorney with large law firm & Fortune 500 client experience.
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