What are a tenant’s rights if they move out due to crime?

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What are a tenant’s rights if they move out due to crime?

My lease expires midnight 4/30/11. I gave landlord notice to vacate as per lease within 30 days. Rent is $484; I was not able to pay all rent so paid $300 total. Landlord had now filed eviction suit, what are my rights as a tenant? I understand I am in default however was moving out due to the property crime as stated in my move out notice.

Asked on April 26, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Texas

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

As a general rule, safety concerns are not a reason for violating a lease.  So you probably still owe for any past due rent. However, there is something called an "implied warranty of habitability," which means that premises must be safe and inhabitable. So someonone could potentially (not automatically) be used as the basis for an early lease termination regarding safety related issues, as long as the landlord is responsible and has control.  Therefore if the landlord is not taking the most basic security precautions, such as by having locks on exterior doors, providing light in common spaces, or not providing a security door, you may have a valid reason for non-payment. On the other hand, if it's simply that it's a bad neighborhood, that is not the landlord's responsibility the other tenants are criminals or if the landlord completely misrepresented the neighborhood to you and you had no opportunity to investigate the neighborhood before moving in and your landlord knew this (i.e. you totally relied on what the landlord said).  Without more of the specifics of your situation its hard to advise further.

 

At this point she should speak to a tenant's rights organization or an attorney that specializes in landlord-tenant law.


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