Can I terminate a lease for health reasons?

UPDATED: Jul 10, 2012

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Can I terminate a lease for health reasons?

I just leased the condo 3 months ago. Since then my health has gone downhill quite a bit and I find the condo is entirely too large for me to properly take care of. It is even hard for me to walk from the front to the back of the condo without pain and being breathless. Can I break the lease with a letter from the doctor if this is for health reasons? Can the landlord keep my security and last month rent? This is an over 55 community.

Asked on July 10, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Florida


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

No,  you cannot get out of a lease on this basis. A lease is a contract; so long as the landlord is honoring his/her obligations (e.g. providing you the space and facilities he/she is supposed to; everything is habitabal; etc.), you are obligated as well. You can only terminate the lease without penalty if the landlord does something wrong, the property is foreclosed upon, or due to some government action (e.g. eminent domain) or "disaster" (e.g. fire) which renders the space uninhabitable through no one's fault. Your own health needs do not allow you to terminate the lease--though you can certainly approach your landlord and ask.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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