Can I request that my name be taken off of a lease that hasn’t begun yet if there are drugs in the house?

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Can I request that my name be taken off of a lease that hasn’t begun yet if there are drugs in the house?

I just moved out of a house I shared with four others. I am not on the current lease but I have already signed on for the next term. I found out that all four other tenants sell and take illegal drugs in the house (marijuana and Percocet). Strangers would walk into the house everyday to buy drugs. For this reason, I moved out and I now want my name off of next years’ lease. Is this grounds to demand that my name be removed from the list? There has been no police involvement.

Asked on March 28, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Ohio

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Unfortunately, it is not likely the case that you can have your name taken off the lease for this reason. While your concerns are understandable and valid, the landlord is not responsible for the criminal activities of third parties (such as the other tenants), and the criminal activities of third parties do not provide a basis for escaping your contractual obligations under the lease you signed (since a lease is, after all, a contract).


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