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RobertJDFL, Attorney
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 13895
Experience:  Experienced in multiple areas of the law.
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I have been diagnosed with a mental disability. Non functioning

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I have been diagnosed with a mental disability. Non functioning Bipolar with psychotic episodes to be exact. I have bouts of being functioning that can last from months to years, the last time I managed to get a job and rent a house. After my new medication caused serious adverse reactions, they categorized me as non functioning again and told me I am not allowed to live on my own and must move in with someone to watch me or be hospitalized. That being said, I do not know if I am legally allowed to terminate my lease in Columbia, SC. The lease clearly states that if I terminate early I will owe for the entirety of the lease's time period, another 6 months that I am not even allowed to be there. Do I have any options at all in this?
Thank you for your question.

There is nothing under the law, unfortunately, that says a landlord has to release you from your lease in such a situation. The lease is a legally binding contract, so you terminating the lease early could be seen as a breach.

I'm presuming you have read through the entire agreement and there is nothing in the lease about early termination for diagnosed several medical conditions? Then in that case, your best avenue is to talk with the landlord as you have planned and note that you can provide documentation from a physician that you cannot live on your own and would have to move out.

Although you can technically be held liable for the remainder of your lease if you breach, under South Carolina law, a landlord also has a duty to mitigate damages - meaning they have to do their best to try and find a tenant as quickly as possible. Thus, for example, if they found a tenant after 2 months, you would only be responsible for those months, and not the other 4.
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