If I rented a commercial property at a 2 year lease and it has recently come to my attention that my landlord is a registered sex offender, can I break my lease?

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If I rented a commercial property at a 2 year lease and it has recently come to my attention that my landlord is a registered sex offender, can I break my lease?

It has recently come to my attention that my landlord is a registered sex offender, enticement of a child. I no longer feel safe in his company. I have a salon and children and young girls are here on a daily basis. He is not at the business often but shouldn’t this have been disclosed? I still have 15 months of this lease left, can I break it on these grounds or am I stuck?

Asked on September 4, 2015 under Real Estate Law, Colorado

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

No, this would not constitute grounds to terminate your lease the landlord's history or status is extraneous to not a part of the landlord-tenant relationship, and so does not afect the validity or enforceability of the lease and the landlord was under no legal obligation to disclose his sexual offender status, so he did nothing wrong e.g. no fraud by not doing so. If the landord does things which disrupt your business--e.g. he threatens, intimidates, tries to solicit, etc. your customers or their children--that would be different in that case, he would be violating your right to "quiet enjoyment," or your ability to use the space you leased for its intended purpose without undue, unreasonable, or unwarranted disruption or disturbance. A breach of your right to quiet enjoyment may justify early termination of your lease. But the breach must be based on his present actions, not on his  past or his status.


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