If the management of my apartment changes and requires a higher liability renter’s insurance, is that a way to get out of my lease?

Get Legal Help Today

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

If the management of my apartment changes and requires a higher liability renter’s insurance, is that a way to get out of my lease?

Page 2, Paragraph 14 of lease says that lease can’t change except for what is allowed in Paragraph 17. Paragraph 17 says as long as it is reasonable and doesn’t affect dollar amount on page 1. Page 1 had a clause stating renter’s insurance is required but it did not list how much liability is required. The new management requires 100,000.

Asked on April 18, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Illinois

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

"Reasonable" is a standard that is context specific and more than somewhat subjective. What is "reasonable" for an apartment like yours, in the area in which it is located, is best judged by what like or similarly situated tenants have as renter's insurance, as well as by what insurance professionals (e.g. agents or brokers) would recommend for your premises. To get a sense for what is reasonable, speak to other tenants in the same or similar nearby buildings, and also speak with a broker. What is reasonable for you would not be reasonable for someone living in a different real estate market, different size apartment, or different monthly rental value apartment.

However, even if the amount of coverage is excessive, that probably would not allow you to terminate the lease, though you may be able to challenge this specific requirement. That is because a lease may only be terminated without penalty for a "material," or significant violation. It is very possible that the extra cost of the additional coverage is so small, compared to your annual rent, that it would not be considered material. For example: say your rent is $1,000 per month, or $12,000 per year. Say that buying the additional coverage would cost you an extra $400 per year. Given that $400 is only 3% of your annual rent, it's unlikely that a court would consider that a material change or breach.


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption