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Roger
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Category: Legal
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Greetings, This is in regard to my daughters lease of a

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Greetings,

This is in regard to my daughter's lease of a house which was signed on April 21. 2013, year lease. Yesterday, the house was broken into and the door pried open with a crow bar. They took all her expensive electronics and completely ransacked the house. She is very scared and does not feel safe living there anymore. She is a 4th year college student at UW and we rented this house for her since she would be 5 minutes away from her horse. This house is a double wide trailer on Tiger Mountain and is a nice neighborhood. This is the only trailer up there. Basically the house is like a tin can and was easy for the thieves to break open the door( no deadbolt). Secondly, her dog died at the house on May 27th from crawling under the trailer and eating rat poison that had been left everywhere by either the owners or previous tenant. My daughter contacted the owner to come up and crawl into the crawl space but he stated he was " 60 years old and too old to do that." She asked if he could get someone else to do the cleanup and the owner stated he would look into it. He never did anything.

The question is that we want to get her out of her lease or at least be able to negotiate our way out. We have never pursued the issue with criminal negligence regarding the death of her dog. I do have a PDF file of the lease agreement scanned in. Any thoughts as to options we might take?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Roger replied 1 year ago.
Hi - my name is XXXXX XXXXX I'm a litigation attorney. Thanks for your question. I'll be glad to assist you.

Unfortunately, a landlord is not the insurer of the safety of the tenant, and the landlord is not liable for the criminal acts of third parties. This means that your daughter can't claim that the lease has been breached because of a burglary.

Instead, in order to cancel the lease without penalty, your daughter would have to prove that the landlord did something to breach the lease. If there is a clause in the lease that states the landlord is responsible for providing security, and he negligently failed to do so, there may be a claim for a breach based on that. If no security is offered, then she would have to try to find something else.

Without proving some breach of the lease agreement by the landlord, the burglary itself is not grounds to breach the lease. Your daughter could find another person to sublease from her if the lease does not prohibit it or she would have to find a new tenant that the landlord agrees to take over the lease.

As for the dog being killed by rat poison, this also wouldn't likely be a ground to terminate the lease unless you could prove that the landlord knew it was there AND that he should have reasonably expected that her dog would eat it - - both of which are unlikely. Even if the landlord put it out, he'd likely not admit to it.

Your daughter could file criminal charges against the landlord if she believes he is responsible, but that also wouldn't be grounds to break the lease. But, it could give her some leverage to negotiate with.

The best option is to consult with the landlord, explain the concerns and try to reach an agreement.
Roger, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 27061
Experience: BV Rated by Martindale-Hubbell; SuperLawyer rating by Thompson-Reuters
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Customer: replied 1 year ago.


Ok, thanks Roger, I greatly appreciate your help! I think I am good and will see if we can pursue the option of getting someone else to lease the property.


 


Thanks again.

Expert:  Roger replied 1 year ago.
No problem, Kelly! Thanks for allowing me to assist you, and I hope that things work out.

Please let me know if you need anything further.

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Roger
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