How can I break my lease agreement if my neighbors engage in illegal activity?

UPDATED: Feb 19, 2011

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How can I break my lease agreement if my neighbors engage in illegal activity?

Neighbors are friends or relatives of landlord. They are permitted to drink, smoke pot, and yell at all hours. Manager has been hostile when I complain.

Asked on February 19, 2011 under Real Estate Law, California


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

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

As I am sure that you know, a lease is a contract as between you and your landlord.  It should spell out the rights and liabilities of both parties.  There is also under the law what is known as certain warranties such as habitability of an apartment and certain rights such as the right to quiet enjoyment and the right to be safe, etc.  If you have complained about the infringement of your rights under the law and your landlord has not addressed them, you need to bring an action in court to void your lease.  You can not just break it.  You will be liable under it.  You need to represent evidence to a judge of your complaints (have you called the police?) and the violations and then you need to have the judge allow you to leave.  You can request to pay your rent in to court and for an abatement until such tie as a decision is made.  Seek legal help. with this. 

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