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MDLawyer, Lawyer
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 6135
Experience:  10 years in legal practice. Over 5 years in advising clients on landlord/tenant issues, including on a pro bono basis.
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Renter breaking lease question: my 25-yr old son and s

Customer Question

Renter breaking lease question: my 25-yr old son and his girlfriend signed a 2-yr lease on a house in Victoria, MN, this past spring. Her grandfather co-signed the lease because she was only 20 at the time. She turned out to be an alcoholic train-wreck and just got a dwi, which will cause her to lose her job, and probably make it impossible for her to pay her half of the rent, $750.00 and the total of which is $1300.00. She works part-time as a bartender. She is also responsible for the utilities. In all this DWI drama my son also discovered she lied to him about several things and so the relationship is ended, and my son is desperate to get away from her as he has his 5-year old on the weekends plus is also responsible for $400 p/mo child-support and works in a blue collar job, barely making ends meet. I know he can look for a subleaser, but it is unethical to knowingly saddle someone with an alcoholic, lying train wreck. He can't afford to buyout his portion of the remaining lease. Can he claim financial hardship to get out of his half of the lease? Does he have any other options? The landlord (a realtor we think) owns several other properties and has been very unresponsive to maintenance issues, to the point where my son and the girlfriend had to put their rent in escrow for several months until the problems were addressed. Thanks for any advice.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Expert:  MDLawyer replied 1 year ago.

Hello and thank you for using the Just Answer website. I'm sorry to hear about your son's problems. In order to answer your question, I will need to know what his lease states about early termination.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I will have to access it but am currently out of state. I will be back in MN on Jan 2, 2016.
Expert:  MDLawyer replied 1 year ago.

Okay. I will need to know that information to give you a thorough answer. In the meantime, I can tell you that generally speaking, he is responsible for the remainder of the lease up until the end of the lease. In these situations, it is usually best to try to talk to the landlord and get the landlord and the remaining tenant to draft a new lease where the remaining tenant would be the only name on the lease. If that is not an option, then one could also negotiate with the landlord to try to terminate the lease early without penalty and have both of them move out. If neither of those options is available, he is unfortunately stuck with the lease if his name is ***** ***** There is no such thing as getting out of a contract due to financial hardship, unfortunately.

Expert:  MDLawyer replied 1 year ago.

Please let me know if you still need additional information. If you do not, please be so kind as to leave a positive rating as that is the only way that we experts get credited for having assisted you since we are not Just Answer employees. If, however, you still need additional information, simply let me know and I'd be happy to continue our conversation.

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