How doI get out of my lease due to an ubsafe location and still get my deposit back?

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How doI get out of my lease due to an ubsafe location and still get my deposit back?

I have been living in my town house for 2 months and we were broken into about a week ago. Then our lawn items were stolen today. It’s gotten to the point where I’m scared to be home alone and fear that the next thing that they break into is going to be my car. What can I do?

Asked on December 5, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Louisiana

Answers:

MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

You cannot unfortunately get out of your lease unless the landlord knew of such safety issues and did not disclose them or specifically advertised this was a safe location. Check police reports for the address and your advertisement and see if there has been a history of crime in this location and if it has been when the landlord has been an owner. You may need to help the landlord start looking for a new tenant (since the landlord has to mitigate his damages) if you wish to move mid-tenancy.

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

You need to speak with your landlord about the crime that you are seeing first hand at the rental you are occupying. You need to ask the landlord for more security measures for your apartment and follow up the request with a written letter to the landlord keepin a copy for future need.

I would also ask the landlord if he or she had any knowledge of the crime issue that you see in the neighborhood before you moved in. If the answer is a "yes" and the crime issues were not disclosed to you before you signed your lease by the landlord, then he or she should have. The incidents of crime in an area where one may rent is a material factor for one's desire to rent a unit. If the presence of crime was known but not disclosed to you, you may have a basis to cancel (rescind) your lease.

You might want to consult with a landlord tenant attorney about your situation.


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