How to get out of a lease due to health reasons?

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How to get out of a lease due to health reasons?

I have an excellent qualified sublet to move into my 1 room, in a 7 tenant house rented for students. The landlord is private not university. Our lease expires 6 months. I cannot go back into that house because they smoke, tare dirty and the air quality and other triggers increase my asthma (in fact, I have been hospitalized due to the asthma for 5 days and am scared to go back into that house). The Landlord said every tenant had to sign off on the sublet, however they are refusing and demanding that I pay without having anyone live there. I cannot afford that and cannot afford to risk my health. Do I have any way out?

Asked on December 17, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Pennsylvania

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Your health issues do not give you any right to get out of a lease, any more than the landlord's health issues (e.g. if he needed more money to pay for medical care) would give the landlord the right to increase your rent during the middle of a lease.

Normally, any tenant can sublet, without the agreement of the other tenants or even the landlord, unless the lease restricts the right to sublet. Therefore, you landlord may be wrong, and you may be able to sublet, or even assign (have somone take over from you entirely from) the lease, regardless of whether your fellow tenants agree or not.  You should bring a copy of the lease to a landlord-tenant attorney, who can review it and your situation with you and advise you of yoru rights and options.


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