How do I get out of my lease if my roommate is abusing his medical marijuana card?

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How do I get out of my lease if my roommate is abusing his medical marijuana card?

I moved in about a month ago into house with 2 students – 1 boy and 1 girl. The boy had a medical marijuana card, which I learned after signing my lease from the boy himself, not my landlords. My female roommate got a kitten and I have a dog. We are both paying a $500 deposit and $250 of that is non-refundable because of our pets. I came home the other day from school to find my dog and her cat acting really strange. When I asked our roommate if he got them high he did not respond and he left the house. About an hour later my dog was throwing up, could not stand up, and was falling over. I researched the symptom’s and saw that it was THC posioning. I panicked obviously but still talked with my roommate about what happened. He told me he had given them THC oil. I had told him before that he needed to stop getting them high and I wasn’t OK with it. I had a few talks with him and made him understand that it was in no way all right with me what happened. I called my landlord because as of now I am uncomfortable at home and I am scared to leave. What he did was completely illegal but I don’t want to press charges, I just want to get out of the house and out of the situation. I don’t have to be scared about my dog injesting things anymore. He also sells the marijuana for a profit and has cocaine in the house ocassionally. What do I do at this point? My landlord told me my options were to get rid of my dog, find a new tenant that will pay me rent but I will not get my $500 deposit back, or call the cops. All my roommate got was a phone call from her telling him it was wrong.

Asked on September 13, 2011 under Real Estate Law, California

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

If you have a written lease agreeemnt with your landlord for the unit you are renting, you need to carefully read it in that its terms and conditions control the obligations owed to you by the landlord and vice versa in the absence of conflicting state law.

Check to see if there ia a provision concerning "termination of the lease." If so, read it carefully to see if there are ways set forth within it to end your lease. If so, follow through.

Another option is whether or not your lease is a month-to-month lease. If it is, send your landlord a written termination notice for thirty (30) days out stating that you will be ending your lease and the reasons for it.

If the lease states that no illegal drugs will be used in the rental, advise the landlord of this fact and the need for the landlord to end the lease with the male roommate for possession of a controlled substance (cocaine) and potentially selling marijuana illegally. With him gone, your problem should be gone also.

You might also consider consulting with your local landlord tenant clinic for additional options.

Good luck.


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