What to do if I’m being sued by my lanlord if I was a crimevictim?

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What to do if I’m being sued by my lanlord if I was a crimevictim?

In December I moved into an apartment complex. At the end of December, my neighbors kicked in my door and robbed my 3 year-old daughter and myself at gun point. After this, the rental office called and asked that we find an exiting strategy. We came to the decision that I would leave before my lease ends. And any damages to the apartment would be charged to my security deposit. It is now February and I just received a call from a lawyer stating that I am being sued for $11,000. What can I do? What are my options?

Asked on February 14, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Illinois

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

You need to get a lawyer and review this with him or her. The short answer is: if you breached your lease early, then you could normally be held liable for any remaining rent due for the remaining time period under the lease. However, if there was an agreement to allow you to leave early and only pay up to a certain date, then that agreement should be enforceable. An issue may be therefore (1) what exactly was agreed; (2) was it in fact finally agreed to, or was it just under discussion as a possibility; and (3) what can you prove (e.g is there a memo, letter, email, etc. containing any early termination agreement)? You need to gather all evidence, all documents, etc. and discuss this with a landlord-tenant attorney who can look at all the specifics of your situation. Good luck.


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