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I have a big mess. I cosigned on a rental house with this…

Customer Question
I have a big...

I have a big mess. I cosigned on a rental house with this guy I didn't know very well. We ended up in a fight and I now and being charged with DV etc. Is there anyway for me to get out of the lease? there is a protection order keeping me from going back to the house. I also got transferred to work out of the state.

Lawyer's Assistant: Because real estate law varies from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?

Colorado

Lawyer's Assistant: Has anything been filed or reported?

For which thing

Lawyer's Assistant: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?

My lease has a cancellation clause lease staying you can only cancel the lease in summer monthes

Submitted: 5 months ago.Category: Legal
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11/25/2017
Lawyer: Legal Eagle, Lawyer replied 5 months ago
Legal Eagle
Legal Eagle, Lawyer
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 10,428
Experience: Licensed to practice before state and federal court
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Hello! I am a licensed attorney, admitted to practice in state and federal court. I have a nearly 100% satisfaction rating (click here for more info) so all that means is that you can count on me to help today. Because I want to provide you with the most accurate answer possible, do you mind if I take a moment to review your question?

Please keep in mind that our conversation does not include an attorney-client relationship and this is for general information purposes only.

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Lawyer: Legal Eagle, Lawyer replied 5 months ago

Thanks so much for your patience. I'm sorry to hear about your situation. There are some instances where you can cancel an agreement. It is possible that you could argue that this contract is now invalid because of the doctrine of frustration of purpose. This means that, "Something unexpected occurred which means you do not have to honor the agreement"" You could also argue that it's not possible or practical to continue wit this because of the relationship issues. This means that if you break the agreement, is possible that the other party may sue you for breach. In addition, if you've been transferred to work out of state, you could argue that it's not possible for you to comply with the agreement either. If you click here, you can purchase a $10 contract termination template which could help you organize your thoughts.

Did you have any other questions for me today that I could help you with?

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Customer reply replied 5 months ago
if I can break the lease because I work out of state. He won't be able to stay in the house? He wants to stay and I want to leave
Lawyer: Legal Eagle, Lawyer replied 5 months ago

Well, I'm uncertain whether he would be able to stay in the house. He could work something out with the landlord to stay in the house, but even you specifically agreed to pay your portion of the rent, if you can no longer do so because of something outside of your control, then you may be able to cancel the contract. This doesn't mean that he still won't try to sue you; however, it does mean that you may have a valid defense.

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Customer reply replied 5 months ago
breaking the lease is breaking it for both of us?
Lawyer: Legal Eagle, Lawyer replied 5 months ago

No. Breaking the lease won't be breaking it for the both of you. If you co-signed, then you are both liable for the rent that is due. However, if you move out, then the landlord can pursue your co-tenant for the remaining amount of the rent, but your co-tenant may be able to come after you for that rent they have to pay in your absence. But you may have some defenses to payment of the rent based on what i provided (frustration of purpose and impossibility).

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Customer reply replied 5 months ago
Would it be best for me to talk to the landlord or have a lawyer do it ?
Lawyer: Legal Eagle, Lawyer replied 5 months ago

I almost always recommend handling it informally without a lawyer. In my experience, the minute people like me get involved, people tend to get tense, defensive, or will just refer me to their lawyer, and we end up stalemating the entire time for almost no reason it seems like.

One little known, but very effective tool that lawyers use when there isn’t a law that they can rely on to support their position is called principled negotiation. All this means is that you are looking to get something done on the basis of principles, even if you can’t find a law to support you. It takes the anxiety out of dealing with the other side because you’re focused on the facts, not each other.

Here are some simple steps you can follow:

Of course, these are just building blocks to get the other party to help solve the dispute. Believe me when I say that good lawyers use this technique all the time to keep things out of court. You’ll find that it is very effective even with the most stubborn of individuals, including a landlord who wants their $.

Did you have any other questions for me at all today?

  1. Figure out what the other side’s interests are (saving money, saving time, etc.?);

  2. Think about what your interests are (saving money, saving time, etc.?);

  3. Come up with 2 to 3 reasonable and objective ways to solve the problem;

  4. Present it to the other side;

  5. If the other side rejects, ask them, “Is there a reason why you do not feel it is necessary to negotiate?”

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Customer reply replied 5 months ago
No I don't think so. Im not anymore confident about what i should do.
Lawyer: Legal Eagle, Lawyer replied 5 months ago

My recommendation would be to just informally work with the landlord and explain that you must leave your lease because of your job and that the DV issue may make it impossible for you to stay there. The landlord may understand and may try to work out something between you and the co-tenant. Are you aware whether your lease allows you to leave because of a job relocation?

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