My husband and I rented a home together and then he was arrested and charged with 20 felonies in regards to sexually abusing my daughter. Obviously we are getting a divorce, and he is in jail and it is likely he won't get out. The home we rented is a "two income" home and I have paid the full rent for 9 months now - on my own. I have asked the landlords to decrease the rent and they said they wouldn't. I have asked to terminate the lease and they said no. ........... Is there such thing as breaking a lease because of mental anguish (wherein, it is too difficult to live in the house where abuse occurred)? Or possibly a change of circumstance with something as severe as sexual abuse would would have grounds for breaking a lease?? Thank you in advance for your advice.
I am so sorry for what you and your daughter are going through. Unfortunately, there is little leverage the situation provides relative to contract law--i.e. your grounds to break the lease early would be limited to some duty the LL failed to perform, not the criminal act of a third party.
You might consider hiring an attorney in your area to negotiate you out of the lease agreement--the LL is NOT obligated to deal.
If you do have to walk away from the lease, the LL will likely claim you owe for the entire balance on the lease--the full monthly rental thru natural expiration of the lease. That is not what actually happens, you would be liable for the damages to the LL that the LL could not mitigate--and LL has to make good faith attempt to limit damages (i.e. LL must do a full court press to find new renter--when new renter signs, you WOULD be liable for that period of time between when you left and when the new tenant too possession. Might just be a few weeks’ worth of rent, might be a couple months’ worth. No way to predict.
Call your county bar association and request a referral to an attorney in your area with mediation-litigation skills and experience.
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