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Barrister
Barrister, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 33791
Experience:  15 yrs practice, Civil, Criminal, Domestic, Realtor, Landlord 26 yrs
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I have asked in writing reasonable accommodation because I

Customer Question

I have asked in writing for a reasonable accommodation because I am severely visually impaired. This request was for a service animal and to provide written communications to me in 28 pt. Arial Bold print. I feel neither of these have been met. Frequenlty written communications to me will be in a font that is too small for me to read and the manager has refused to read those notices for me. He does however provide all notices in English, Spanish, and Russian so the residents that English is not their first language can read the communications. He has insisted I sign documents such my current lease without my knowing what it said.
I have spoken to the manager numerous times about three different dogs in the building that continually interfere with the work of my Guide Dog. One of these dogs is particularly vicious. It bit my neighbor and her dog the first week it was in the building. This has been ongoing for a year. It is adversely affecting my Guide Dog by causing her to be very fearful to the point of her freezing when we come to the point of the most current attack. She is very nervous and will flinch or drop to the ground when she hears a loud sound.
Under these circumstances can I break my lease without giving a 30 day notice?
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Barrister replied 10 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.

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Under these circumstances can I break my lease without giving a 30 day notice?

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The landlord's legal obligation to a tenant is to provide a habitable dwelling that meets all local Code and housing laws, but that is about it. They couldn't prevent you from having a service animal or ESA, but they wouldn't be responsible for a third party's actions, such as another tenant interfering with your dog. It is the tenant who is creating or allowing the interference that is criminally liable for their actions under the law you cited, not the landlord.

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As for requesting the increased font, that is kind of a judgment call and while it might make it more convenient for you, I don't know that a judge would order a landlord to create an entirely new document each time specifically for you as the landlord could argue that this would create an "undue burden" on him. The judge would likely just order that the landlord provide you with regular copies and then give you adequate time to locate someone who could read them to you prior to signing, as in a few days time to have them reviewed.

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With that said, I would have to opine that the actions you mention wouldn't rise to the level of being a breach of the rental contract so as to give you legal grounds to terminate your lease without repercussions..

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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...

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thanks

Barrister

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