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Will my roommate's drug use help me get out of my apartment lease?

Fresno, CA |

My roommate is underage drinking and smoking marijuana, and this bothers me a lot. My apartment lease (by room) has an illegal activity/knowledge of illegal activity clause. Can this help me get out of the lease, if possible, w/out getting her in trouble with the police?

I am the one who wants to move out of this apartment complex, regardless of my roommates behavior. I am wondering if this can help me in any way. The Clause is this (Summary) Resident, any member of the resident's household, or a guest or other person under Resident's control; 1. Shall not engage in criminal activity, including drug-related criminal activity, on or near the Community. 2. Will not permit the dwelling unit to be used for, or to facilitate, criminal activity, including drug-related activity, regardless of whether the individual engaging in such activity is a member of the household or a guest. VIOLATION OF THE ABOVE PROVISIONS SHALL BE MATERIAL VIOLATION OF THE LEASE AND GOOD CAUSE FOR TERMINATION OF TENANCY.

Attorney Answers 2


  1. Best answer

    Generally speaking, no. As a co-tenant, you wouldn't have the same rights that a landlord would for evicting a tenant based upon illegal drug usage or other illegal activity. Your rights to get out of the lease would depend upon the language of your specific lease.

    Frank W. Chen has been licensed to practice law in California since 1988. The information presented here is general in nature and is not intended, nor should be construed, as legal advice for a particular case. This Avvo.com posting does not create any attorney-client relationship with the author. For specific advice about your particular situation, please consult with your own attorney.


  2. That's all good information to get the roommate evicted, but will not help you to break the lease. Her behavior is independent from your desire to leave the complex.

    A proper response would require a thorough investigation into the history and background of this relationship. The information provided above is just that, information, to be used as you see fit.

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