If we’ve both been transferred over an hour away and our neighborhood has gotten violent, can we get out of our lease?

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If we’ve both been transferred over an hour away and our neighborhood has gotten violent, can we get out of our lease?

I currently and am 3 months from the end of an 18 month lease. We’ve tolerated the landlord entering the premises without our permission the neighbors screaming at all hours of the night the black mold that is the entire ceiling of our bathroom but now this has gotten to be too much. Both my boyfriend and I have been transferred over an hour away with our jobs – with rising gas prices we can’t afford our commute anymore On top of that in the last two months there have been two shootings within a 1 block radius of our apartment. I’m afraid to be here these days. We’ve asked our landlord to let us out early due to the financial strain and the strain on my health. He essentially laughed it off. Is there anything we can do to get out early? We’re going crazy.

Asked on February 10, 2012 under Real Estate Law, New Jersey

Answers:

Joseph Gasparrini

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

The situation with the black mold sounds very serious.  You should contact your local and/or state health department and ask them to send an inspector to look at the mold.  The landlord's failure to correct this problem after being given notice could be a violation of applicable law, regulation or health code.  The extent of the mold may make the apartment unfit for occupancy.  Those or other circumstances pertaining to the condition of your apartment may give you the right to declare the landlord in default of his obligations and to terminate the lease.  Or, they may provide a valid defense if you moved out and ceased paying rent prior to the end of the lease and the landlord sued you for the unpaid rent.  Because many facts and circumstances affect your rights as a tenant, and the landlord-tenant laws are complex, you should consult a qualified attorney about the appropriate steps to take to protect your rights.


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