Can you break you lease without paying extra or losing your deposit if there is a safety issue?

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Can you break you lease without paying extra or losing your deposit if there is a safety issue?

I recently had 2 issues (within a month) at my residence where the police were called and I filed a police report. The first time we had something stolen off the porch and wires cut from under my vehicle, which we obviously had to take into the shop to be fixed. Then 2 weeks after that, we had someone hiding out and shooting at us with a BB gun. The cops came out and retrieved the gun, but the person got away. We no longer feel safe living there and want to break our lease to move to a safer area. There are other properties offered by this company but they will not work either.

Asked on September 6, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Louisiana

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Have you had an opportunity to discuss the safety issue with your landlord or the property manager for the unit you are renting? If not, you need to discuss such with him or her and follow up with a written letter in response seeking a written agreement cancelling your lease as a result of the safety concerns and see what results.

If the landlord or the property manager knew that the rented unit was not in a safe area before you rented it and failed to disclose this to you, then you have a possible basis for cancelling the lease in that had you known the true facts as to lack of safety, you never would have entered into the lease.

The facts that you have written about do not show a clear basis for an opinion as to whether you would be able to terminate your lease due to safety concerns and not have to worry about the landlord suing you for the balance owed on your lease if it is more than a month-to-month tenancy.

If you have a "legal aid" program in your county, I suggest that you consult with them for further assistance.

Good luck.

 


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