Can I break my lease2 month early without having to pay or having to pay a minimal amount due to extenuating circumstances?

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Can I break my lease2 month early without having to pay or having to pay a minimal amount due to extenuating circumstances?

My boyfriend and I, have until 06/30 left on our lease. 2 roommates moved out in December without contacting the leasing company. Now our last roommate wants to move out mid-March, without contacting the leasing company either. this will leave us to pay all the bills which is possible but extremely tight on money. So we would like to break the lease at the end of April, which is 2 months early. On top of this we discovered that my grandma has stage 4 liver cancer and will be in hospice leaving us to take care of my sister, who is currently a junior in high school with full ride scholarships coming her way. Our condo is out of the jurisdiction of the school. We are confused as to our rights for terminating the lease early under the circumstances. The lease does say if its terminated early we are responsible for paying the remaining of the and the termination fees (which are not specified in the agreement.) We need to get off of the lease without having to pay the remaining of the of the lease because the money is too much to handle.

Asked on February 7, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Arizona

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your circumstances.  May I ask: are your roommates and ex roommates on the lease as well as you and your boyfriend?  Then they have no right to just leave and pay nothing.  They owe YOU for the money that you have put out since December for rent, heat, electric,etc., and so does the one intending on moving in March.  The only person who can let you out of your lease is the landlord (or their managing agent).  Your best bet here is to approach them and tell them about your Grandmother and your needing to be appointed as guardian of your Sister (something you NEED TO DO ASAP) and that you will be required to move in to her school district to care for her and your Grandmother.  Ask them to let you out of the lease and relieve you of your obligation to pay on the remainder (get that in writing).  As for the termination fee, google it and see what your state allows.  If state law requires that it be stated and it is not then you may be in luck.  If it limits the amount then that is good too.  But remember: you are ALL obligated to pay that fee.  I would get some legal help here.  And sue those roommates.  Good luck.


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