Can we be charged for the remainder ofour lease if we are leaving due to safety and crime concerns?

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Can we be charged for the remainder ofour lease if we are leaving due to safety and crime concerns?

We’ve been living in an apartment complex for 2 years now and in that time we have had a tire slashed on our vehicle, a lockbox cut into on our vehicle and my boyfriend was physically assaulted by a neighbor. What has the apartment complex done about this – nothing. I don’t even feel safe enough to walk to my vehicle without a weapon. They told us if we gave a 30 days notice they would terminate our lease so we did and are getting out. Now they are saying that they are charging us for the rest of the lease. What can we do about this?

Asked on August 10, 2011 Texas

Answers:

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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

The fact is that you can be charged for the remainder of the lease. And there may not be too much that you can do about this. If you failed to do your homework before you signed your lease (i.e. if the general area is unsafe) that is not management's fault. However, if within the complex itself, management has failed to provide adequate security and it was promised to you when you moved in, then you could have grounds for an early lease termination without a penalty(check your lease). For example, if were you promised a security gaurd on the premises and management failed to provide one.  Another valid reason for termination would be if they knew or should have known that criminal activity was being conducted on the premises (e.g. drug dealing).


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