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Ask Barrister Your Own Question
Barrister
Barrister, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 33707
Experience:  15 years real estate, Realtor. Landlord 26 years
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My daughter is in college and signed an apt lease. She has

Customer Question

My daughter is in college and signed an apt lease. She has been treated for anxiety for the past 10 years and thought it was under control. She has started having panic attacks again and has dropped her classes. Will it be possible for her to break her lease due to extenuating circumstances? If not, what can they really do to her other than screw up her credit?
JA: Because laws vary from place to place, can you tell me what state the property is in?
Customer: Texas..
JA: Have you talked to a lawyer yet?
Customer: No. I just found out that she's dropped her classes and been denied financial aid because she also failed a couple of classes. So sad. She has a 130 IQ. Anxiety is such a beast, and it is so misuderstood.
JA: Anything else you think the lawyer should know?
Customer: Not really. We are going to talk to the apartments tomorrow and see what she can do. If anything.
Submitted: 4 months ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  Barrister replied 4 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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Will it be possible for her to break her lease due to extenuating circumstances? If not, what can they really do to her other than screw up her credit?

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Unfortunately, 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 her situation has changed, it would not give her legal grounds to get out of the lease without any repercussions.

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However, if she has 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 her 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 her liable for that lost rent plus any advertising costs.

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So to minimize her potential liability, if she has to breach, make sure she leaves the place as close to spotless as she can so the landlord can immediately put it on the market and hopefully rent it quickly.

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thanks

Barrister

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