General Question

squirbel's avatar

Will I be liable for breaking my lease?

Asked by squirbel (3996 points ) December 16th, 2012 from iPhone

Over this weekend, my vehicle was broken into. A lot was stolen.

To be honest, I have not felt comfortable living in this place but I chose to because I was being cheap and preferred to save money. (Packrat) I am not accustomed to this class of people I am living with. Before this incident, I had never been robbed. I had this naive impression that all people are good, they just do bad things occasionally. I’m 32, and female.

My world crashed this weekend and I now see the environment I am in in a more realistic way.

I want to move. Now.

Is there some sort of real estate clause that allows a person to move without being bound to exit clauses in a lease? Mine requires 1.5 months rent if lease is broken. I will pay it if I have to but I don’t want to.

I live in Lansing, MI, if that’s any help. Resources would be greatly appreciated!

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12 Answers

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

Review your lease an see if there are any clauses in it for a safe secure environment. Then contact your states Attorney General to see what your options are.

bkcunningham's avatar

I would talk to the landlord with the police report in hand and see if something can be worked out to reduce the penalty for breaking the lease.

jaytkay's avatar

After trying the advice from @Adirondackwannabe and @bkcunningham does not work, maybe you can find a sub-letter to take over the lease. The lease may spell out rules about that.

And maybe 1.5 months is worth it.

I lived on Shiawassee Street in Lansing during the 1980s crack epidemic for a year – also tried to be cheap and found out it was a bad choice

marinelife's avatar

Look up the landlord tenat laws for your state.

bolwerk's avatar

Unless some local law overrides the clause, the lease is a valid contract. You can do what others said – look for a loophole, talk to a landlord-tenant attorney, talk to the state, talk to the landlord, etc., but you’re probably stuck.

I think @jaytkay‘s idea about a subletter might be the most likely alternative.

livelaughlove21's avatar

If people could break their lease because they don’t feel safe in their neighborhood, it would be a lot easier to get out of a lease. A car being broken into in your neighborhood isn’t a valid reason to get out of a lease. If your landlord allowed that, he could potentially lose all of his tenants at once. From his perspective, that lease is to cover his own ass, not yours.

Of course you’ll be responsible. Theft occurs everywhere. If someone broke into your house and shot at you, that might be different….maybe not.

bolwerk's avatar

Yeah, agreed, @livelaughlove21. And, quite frankly, I’ve had more car robbed in “good” white upstanding neighborhoods. Maybe that it was “good” is even why someone was attracted to it to rob cars.

jaytkay's avatar

@Adirondackwannabe and @bkcunningham ARE giving good advice.

Correcting myself here. What I wrote implied the opposite

I changed the sentence a few times and hit the Answer button at the wrong point

bkcunningham's avatar

I thought about suggesting the sublet route too, @jaytkay. After giving it a second thought, it seems it would knowingly be putting someone else in a dangerous situation though.

bolwerk's avatar

@bkcunningham: maybe, but someone will rent the place anyway. It’s right to be upfront, but crime statistics are fairly public information.

livelaughlove21's avatar

I agree, @bolwerk. Some may not care about such things, or can’t afford anything better. Not subletting because it would be endangering someone else would be like not moving out at all for the same reason.

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