What to do if my brother was involved in a very serious car accident, which makes it impossibe to continue to live at his current apartment?

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What to do if my brother was involved in a very serious car accident, which makes it impossibe to continue to live at his current apartment?

He has a broken femur and shattered pelvis, along with vertebrae injuries which will require him to wear a halo brace. His apartment is on the second floor and it will literally be impossible for him to live there. His roommate explained this to the apartment management who told him his injuries did not affect the contract and they would be evicted resulting in poor renters history for my brother. Is this truly the case?

Asked on November 28, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Texas

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Yes, this truly is the case: a lease is a contract between the tenant (your brother) and the landlord. The tenant's contractual obligations are not affected by changes in his circumstances, including severe injuries which make the apartment effectively unusable by the tenant; the fact that your brother cannot live in the apartment does not allow him to terminate his lease early or otherwise escape his obligation to pay rent.

If your brother and/or his roommate do not pay the full rent, they can be evicted; an eviction will show on their credit and renting history; the landlord can take rent owed out of their security deposit; and if the deposit does not cover all rent owed, the landlord can sue them for the balance. Your brother and his roommate may need to look at subletting the apartment (someone else subletting your brother's space) as an option.


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