3 Things You Didn’t Know About Breaking A Lease Due To Disability
Time can change a lot of things. Accidents and stuff may happen quickly. They can change your life, making it impossible for you to work and live in the same way that you did before it happened. This may make you question whether breaking a lease due to disability is possible.
You know that breaking a lease is generally frowned upon, and doing so may end up costing you, depending on the clauses in your lease contract. However, what if your situation changes beyond your control. Is there ever a time when it is acceptable to break a lease? Will you be penalized for breaking the lease?
DoNotPay can help you understand what happens if you terminate a lease and how you may be legally able to do it. In many cases, a disability can help, but you must go about it the right way.
Things To Consider Before Breaking Your Lease Due to Disability?
One of the hardest parts of breaking a lease due to your disability is trying to come to an agreement with the landlord. What DoNotPay means by this is that although you may have a legal right to terminate the lease based on your situation, your landlord may also deny your request based on certain circumstances. For instance:
|Can the Rental Be Re-Letted Easily?||If you live in an area where vacancy rates are exceptionally high, your landlord may say that you are costing them too much by leaving the rental property empty. In some areas, rental properties have a waiting list of people wanting to live there, which can make it only a minor issue if you need to leave early.|
|Time Remaining on Your Lease Agreement||If you are terminating the lease a couple of months before it is up, the landlord may be more willing to accommodate without a large fee. If the lease is newly established, they may have a harder time if you break it.|
|Is It an Individual or a Rental Agency's Property?||Landlords with only a single property to rent out may be more severely impacted by your early termination of the lease than a large apartment complex or a company with a lot of resources backing them.
The problem is most landlords depend on you sticking to the lease agreement as their income source. You are taking money from them if you break it, and they are unable to fill the rental property quickly. This can be very bad and may push the landlord to keep your security deposit and request rental payments for early termination.
Contrarily, most landlords are obligated to try and accommodate your needs while living in the rental property. Therefore, if you become disabled, you should request that your landlord add ramps or other stuff that may help you continue to live in that rental property. If they fail to do it, you will be less liable for restitution to them if you must terminate the lease early.
What if I Just Break My Lease and Move Because of My Disability?
According to the Fair Housing Authority (FHA) guidelines, a landlord cannot discriminate against someone for their age or health. Therefore, you should assume that as a tenant, you cannot just break your lease just because you want to do it.
There are some scenarios that may allow you to break your lease, but you must do it the right way. This does not include simply moving out, even if you have a disability that may make it possible for you to break the lease with very little consequence. Doing so may increase the penalties you will owe your landlord.
Disabilities That May Make It Possible for You to Break a Lease for Hardships
According to the FHA, you may be able to break your lease for medical reasons or disabilities if you have a physical or mental impairment that significantly reduces or limits major life activities. A major life activity is defined as being unable to:
- Care for Yourself
- Perform Tasks
Each of these things may hinder your ability to work, thrive, and support yourself well enough to pay your housing costs. If this is the situation that you find yourself or a loved one dealing with, you may need to show proof before you break the lease.
Depending on where you live, there may be some statutes that can help you break your lease legally. Find out specifics for each state by clicking on the links in the table below:
How to Break a Lease Due to Disabilities on Your Own?
Having a disability does not necessarily mean that your landlord will immediately let you break your lease. Often, before you can legally break the lease, you will need to show proof that your disability prevents you from enjoying your rental.
What this means is if you were in a car accident and have lost your ability to walk, have an apartment on the upper floors of the building, and have no elevator access: you shouldn't be required to live there. You cannot safely or easily continue to enjoy your apartment. In this situation, the reason is fairly obvious, but your landlord may want to know that it is a long-term disability. This could require a doctor to provide proof.
Another scenario is less obvious. Let's say you were attacked in the stairwell leading to your apartment and now have extreme fear when going up the stairs. Your mental issues may be enough, but you will have to prove that it causes you distress to the point that you cannot live there any longer.
You should keep in mind that being out of work for several months because you broke your foot may not qualify you for a "legal reason" to break your lease. Not paying your rent or breaking the lease agreement in other ways can cause the landlord to report you to the credit bureau because it is not a severe injury or one that is not going to heal.
If you feel confident that you should be released from your lease agreement, the first step will be to write a hardship letter and send it to your landlord. The letter should:
- Describe Your Situation
- Show Proof of Your Disability
- Any Legal Statutes That May Apply to Your Situation
This letter may be enough to compel your landlord to work with you, but it does not guarantee it. If you still feel that you are justified in an early release from your lease agreement, you may need to contact someone who can help you. DoNotPay is here if you need further assistance.
DoNotPay Can Minimize the Issues of Breaking Your Lease
DoNotPay is an online robot lawyer and the first company of its kind. Therefore, DoNotPay can help you with a large variety of services including helping you to break a lease due to:
- Active-Duty Services
- Unsafe Living Environment
- Harassment by Landlord
- Age-Related Illnesses
- Other Hardships
Here's how you can get started in just 3 easy steps:
- Search Break My Lease on DoNotPay.
- Prepare a signed copy of your lease that you can use as a reference and enter the state the lease was signed in.
- Let DoNotPay guide you through the 4 potential options.
- If you're a uniformed service member breaking a lease to fulfill your service obligations, DoNotPay will send your landlord an SCRA Protection Letter.
- If you're breaking your lease for a reason protected by your state's tenant laws, DoNotPay will write your landlord a letter detailing your protections for breaking the lease under the relevant law.
- If your reasons for breaking your lease aren't protected by federal or state law but you'd like to try to convince your landlord to let you break the lease through mutual agreement, DoNotPay will draft a hardship letter making your case to your landlord.
- If there are no remaining options for breaking the lease with protection but your state requires landlords to mitigate damages to tenants who break their leases, DoNotPay notify your landlord of that obligation and minimize the remaining rent you have to pay.
And that is all you have to do. DoNotPay will do the rest.
DoNotPay Is Here for You When Breaking a Lease and More
DoNotPay is devoted to helping you deal with the complicated issues in life, whether you are trying to reduce your property taxes or break a lease due to a disability. Some of DoNotPay’s other services include:
- Helping You Deal with a Breach of Contract
- Helping You Create a Power of Attorney
- Helping You Cancel Subscriptions
- Helping You Submit a Change of Address
- Helping You Tackle Many Other Complex Situations
If you would like to know more about the many services DoNotPay has to offer, you can visit online anytime. These lawyers are always available!