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Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 102368
Experience:  Attorney
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I would like to break my lease due to my recent lay off, plus

Customer Question

I would like to break my lease due to my recent lay off, plus I've experienced my life being threatened by the tenant who lives below me. Police were called to the scene but both the tenant and I received a written notice of the lease violation. Please assist because I've provided the lease office with my 30 day notice (Moving out June 30th) but they stated unless I pay the 2 month rental penalty, it would be recorded as Abandonment.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Expert:  Ely replied 2 years ago.
Hello and welcome to JustAnswer. Please note:
(A) This is general information and is not legal advice. No specific course of action is proposed herein. No attorney-client relationship or privilege is formed by speaking to an expert on this site. This is repeated in numerous disclaimers throughout the site. By continuing, you confirm that you understand and agree to these terms; and (B) there may be a slight delay between your follow ups and my reply while I am typing out my answer.
I am sorry to hear about this situation. Can you please tell me what state this is in?
And I am going to be honest with you right away - chances are that the state law will not allow one to break the lease without penalty here - but I'd like to confirm this, or at least look for a loophole.
This is not an answer, but an Information Request. I need this information to answer your question. Please reply, so I can answer your question. Thank you in advance.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Expert:  Ely replied 2 years ago.
Thank you.
I am afraid this confirms my suspicions.
Breaking a lease in Maryland without penalty is limited to the following four reasons:
1. Military Duty (Civil Relief Act, 50 App. U.S.C.A. §§ 501);
2. Tenant is a victim of domestic violence of sexual assault (See here);
3. Rental unit violates warranty of habitability (Maryland §8-211 et seq); or
4. Landlord is harassing the tenant.
I am afraid that state law simply does not provide a right to break the lease in a case that (1) one's neighbor is threatening you, and/or, (2) due to a financial change in your life.
Unless one can prove that the landlord or one of their agents is somehow involved in the harassment which was initiated by the downstairs neighbor (which would fall under #4), this is simply not an option. I am very sorry.
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