Can my elderly father-in-law break his lease due to the fact that his caregiver is moving out of the area and he needs 24 hour care?

UPDATED: Oct 20, 2011

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right legal decisions.

We strive to help you make confident insurance and legal decisions. Finding trusted and reliable insurance quotes and legal advice should be easy. This doesn’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own.

UPDATED: Oct 20, 2011Fact Checked

Get Legal Help Today

Compare Quotes From Top Companies and Save

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Can my elderly father-in-law break his lease due to the fact that his caregiver is moving out of the area and he needs 24 hour care?

He needs to break his lease; he has 2 months left because his caregiver is moving out of the city. The daughter who is taking over his care lives elsewhere.

Asked on October 20, 2011 under Real Estate Law, California


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

First of all check the terms of his lease to see if this situation is covered (typically however it won't). If there isn't a specific provision for early termination due to a medical condition, there may be a general provision for ending the lease early with a stated period of notice to the landlord (i.e. 60 days). If not, then you will then need to check local laws (although in most places it is not legal to break a lease for medical reasons). Finally, you can explain this situation to your landlord and see what, if any, arrangements regarding your termination it is willing to make.
Unfortunately, a lease is a contract and if you break it you are technically responsible for the rent remaining on the lease term (plus applicable fees, if any). You should be aware however that landlords have a duty to "mitigate" damages". This means that they are legally obligated to minimize damages by re-letting the premises as soon as possible. So if your father breaks his lease, his landlord has to advertise his vacant unit and try to find a new tenant. If they do, they have to let him out of the remainder of the term.  However, that will still almost certainly result in paying for at least a few months more but it may at least give some financial relief.

Possibly you can assist the landlord in finding a new tenant. Also, if the lease allows or the landlord will permit, you can try to sublet the unit. Accordingly, even as your father is paying rent to his the landlord, someone else will be paying your father. You can more easily accomplish this by subletting to a sub-tenant for less than what your father pays; he then will make up this difference.  Granted, it's not the perfect solution but getting something is better than getting nothing.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption