ApplyConnect FAQ: I’m a Renter. Can My Lease Be Broken Because of _____?

ApplyConnect FAQ: I’m a Renter. Can My Lease Be Broken Because of _____?

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Navigating the world of lease agreements as a tenant can sometimes seem a bit daunting, especially when both parties aren’t clear about their rights and responsibilities. Ever been in a rental housing situation in which you asked yourself, “Can a lease be voluntarily broken, and if so, can it be because of _______?”

Disclaimer: The information provided here is for general informational purposes only and is not intended to be legal advice. Tenants should consult with a qualified attorney or legal professional regarding their specific situation and any decisions related to breaking their lease.

  1. Burglary

Q: Can a lease be broken because my unit was burgled?

A: It’s quite an unfortunate event, but burglary alone might not be grounds for breaking a lease. However, if the property owner or management team has not provided adequate security measures or there’s a recurring issue, it might be possible for the tenant to make a case for breaking the lease. Some landlords might even choose to allow a tenant to break their lease after a burglary in order to avoid a potential lawsuit, as the loss of income due to a broken lease might be less than legal fees. Ultimately, after a burglary, it’s a good idea for both parties to discuss security and any preventive measures that could be implemented as a first step.

  1. Noise Violations from Police

Q: My neighbors threw another wild party and this time the police showed up. Again. Can I break the lease?

A: Persistent noise violations that disrupt the peace might offer some leverage in ending a lease early, especially if the property owner has been notified but hasn’t acted. For property owners, it’s crucial to address disturbances to maintain harmony among tenants. If a landlord owns a property with multiple units, they could potentially offer to move you to a vacant unit to appease both tenants. However, this is ultimately a tenant issue, and it’s unlikely the lease will be broken due to a noisy neighbor.

  1. Damage Due to Existing Problems

Q: The pipes burst and ruined my record collection! Were those old pipes the reason?

A: If damages result from existing problems that violate the warranty of habitability (a legal doctrine that requires property owners to maintain the safety and livable conditions of their rental property, such as old pipes or structural issues, and they were previously reported to the owner with no action taken, there could be grounds to break a lease. If the property is deemed unhabitual by a city inspector, the property owner would be given a timeframe to fix the violations cited by the city to rent the property again. However, unless the state has provisions in their tenant-landlord laws that require the property owner to provide alternate accommodations for the duration of your lease, you might be without a roof over your head for an indefinite period, as well.

  1. Illegal Activity

Q: My neighbor is running a suspicious-looking operation from his apartment. Can illegal activities lead to a lease being broken?

A: Absolutely. If a tenant is participating in illegal activity (such as drug dealing), it’s a breach of most lease agreements. Property owners and management can evict in such cases, and tenants should feel empowered to report any concerns for their safety.

  1. Not Paying Rent

Q: Can a lease be broken if someone’s not paying rent? Asking for a… friend.

A: Let’s keep it simple: yes. Failing to pay rent is one of the primary reasons leases are broken. For tenants, it’s crucial to communicate any financial difficulties to the property management before things get dicey. Property owners, on the other hand, should ensure that lease terms are clear about payment expectations.

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Get Started with ApplyConnect!

The nation’s most trusted tenant screening for real estate agents, landlords, and property managers. No cost background checks available 24/7.

©2018 ApplyConnect. All rights reserved

ApplyConnect marks used herein are trademarks or registered trademarks of applyconnect.com. Other product and company names mentioned herein are the property of their respective owners.