How doI break my lease after my apt. was broken into by my adjoining neighbor, through the basement rafters. With a police report and people in custody?

Asked on June 10, 2009 under Real Estate Law, Ohio


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Absent some sort of negligence on his/her part,  the landlord is not accountable for crime unless he is the criminal.  You can ask them to terminate your lease early but they are  not forced to.  You can also come to an agreement on early termination, however expect that to cost you some money.  Unless your lease states something about crime the landlord is not accountable for this.  

However, your landlord does have the duty to mitigate damages.  This means that he/she is under a legal obligation to try and rent out the unit to as soon as possible so as to lessen monetary loss.  To the extent that the unit is re-leased, you are only responsible for rent from the time you vacated until the new tenant takes occupancy.

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