I live in the state of Kentucky. Can I break a lease if I have become unemployed and have to move out of state?

I need to break a year lease that was signed on November 15, 2008. My husband has lost his job and I have never been able to find a job here. It is necessary for us to move out of state and live with relatives until we can find jobs. Also, the lease agreement that we signed was made up by the young lady that owns this condo and she did not sign the agreement; it was only signed by my husband and me. There was not even a line provided for her to sign on. Please help us on this matter. Jeannette Miles, Louisville, KY

Asked on June 15, 2009 under Real Estate Law, Kentucky


B. B., Member, New Jersey Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

There are some subtle legal questions that go into this, and the differences in legal rules from one state to the next might really matter here.  For advice you can rely on, you need to take that lease, and the rest of the facts of your situation, to an attorney in your area.  One place to find a lawyer is our website, http://attorneypages.com

A lawyer for your landlord might argue that her signature isn't necessary, since you've both been observing the lease since it was signed.  Your lawyer might argue that since she didn't give you a signed-by-her copy (especially if your state has a law that specifically requires that), you can't be held to more than a month-to-month tenancy under the lease's other terms, and you can cancel on a full month's notice (you can end your tenancy on the next rent-due-day at least a month away).

You can give your landlady that written notice yourself, but I can't promise you that it will work in court -- for that, you need to talk to a Kentucky lawyer.

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