Can I break a rental agreement for safety reasons?

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Can I break a rental agreement for safety reasons?

I have drug dealers across the street from me and I feel in danger. Can I break my rental agreement because of safety reasons?

Asked on August 20, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Florida

Answers:

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

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

No, you probably can't. Generally speaking, to break a lease in such a situation, there must be fault on the landlord's part in some way. For example, if there are other tenants in the complex who are known to engage in criminal activity and the landlord fails to take action against them. In such a case, a landlord's failure to correct a security flaw could give rise for grounds to terminate a lease agreement.

However, if the landlord is providing reasonable security and taking measures to maintain it but it's just that the neighborhood is very high crime area, then the tenant can't terminate their lease. The fact is that it is up to a tenant to check out the immediate vicinity of where they will be living.

Bottom line, if your landlord is blameless, you can be held to your lease. The actions of third-party criminals do not provide a reason to relieve you of your contractual obligation.


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