If there are 2 drug busts in your apartment complex and you don’t feel safe, is it legal to break your lease ?

Get Legal Help Today

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

If there are 2 drug busts in your apartment complex and you don’t feel safe, is it legal to break your lease ?

Asked on April 9, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Indiana

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

As a general matter, this would not authorize you to terminate your lease without penalty. The landlord is not responsible for the unlawful or criminal acts of third parties not  under the landlord's control, and, at the risk of oversimplifying somewhat, unless the landlord itself did something wrong (e.g. didn't maintain the premises in a habitable  fashion; didn't provide you all the space or facilities you are paying for), you cannot terminate the lease. The actions of third-party criminals do not provide legal grounds to end your tenancy.

There is a very narrow exception if you could show that  the drug dealers and criminals are only getting in because the landlord is not providing the level or type of security which landlords of similar buildings in similar locations provide; in that case, and if the landlord has refused to correct the situation after notice of the problem, that might provide grounds to terminate the  lease. But if the landlord is providing the more-or-less standard security features (e.g. locking external doors), then you could not terminate your lease safely.


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 lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption