Can I Break my Lease if I Feel Unsafe?
Sometimes, yes. If your landlord isn't providing a "habitable" rental, you can break your lease if you feel unsafe. You must document the issues and provide that information to your landlord. And you might end up in small claims court to get your deposit back. Be aware that breaking a lease can sometimes cost you extra money. If you don't pay, it can hurt your credit.
Don't ever secretly leave a rental property without notifying your landlord, though. That's called abandonment, and you'll lose your rights as a tenant. Even if you sneak away in the middle of the night because someone is harassing you, call your landlord the next day.
DoNotPay can help with all of these tasks.
This article explores four issues:
- Laws that protect your right to feel safe as a tenant
- How to break any lease — for any reason — using DoNotPay
- How to talk to your landlord about breaking a lease by yourself
- And some other ways you can use DoNotPay
Right now, you want to learn about breaking a lease because you feel unsafe. Let's get started.
You Have a Right to Feel Safe (in Most States)
Most states have "habitability" laws that protect tenants. Your landlord has a reasonable duty to keep the property safe and secure.
- A rental unit should have functioning doors.
- Locks must work.
- Windows that open should have functioning locks.
- Many states require fire exits at rentals, and they must stay clear of debris.
Your lease should outline any other safety issues that are the landlord's responsibility. For example, some apartment communities are gated, and those gates must be kept in working order.
What Are the Laws in My State?
Some Issues Are Not the Landlord's Responsibility, However
Now, let's imagine that a neighborhood "goes downhill." Some formidable neighbors move in next door, and a motorcycle gang sets up shop across the street. You suspect they're dealing drugs. These issues are out of your landlord's control.
If you feel unsafe and break the lease for those reasons, your landlord might be able to charge you. You can try to fight the fees in small claims court. Or, you can pay the extra money.
If you feel unsafe and need to break a lease, DoNotPay can help. It's the most straightforward and trustworthy way to accomplish any legal task.
How to Use DoNotPay to Break a Lease Because You Feel Unsafe (or For Any Reason)
If you feel unsafe in your rental unit, you can almost always break the lease legally. DoNotPay can help!
Follow these simple 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 us guide you through the 4 potential options.
- If you're a uniformed service member breaking a lease to fulfill your service obligations, we'll send your landlord an SCRA Protection Letter.
- If you're breaking your lease for a reason protected by your state's tenant laws — in this case, because the unit is unsafe — we'll 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, we'll draft a hardship letter making your case to your landlord.
- Suppose 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. In that case, we'll notify your landlord of that obligation and minimize the remaining rent you have to pay.
See how easy that was? You don't need to have an awkward conversation with your landlord. DoNotPay is the easiest way to break a lease.
Now, you can talk to your landlord and get out of the lease. Sometimes that works. Let's take a closer look.
How to Talk to a Landlord About Breaking a Lease Because You Feel Unsafe
If you want to break a lease because you feel unsafe, be sure to document the problems.
- Take photos of the problems, like locks that don't work or water damage.
- Email or text them to your landlord (so you have a record)
- Call them from a cell phone (so you have a record)
- Write them a formal letter
If your landlord handles the safety issues right away, you can still break the lease, but you may wonder what happens if you terminate the lease. You might need to pay extra to do so, and those costs vary from one contract to the next.
Remember, DoNotPay is always the fastest and most reliable way to break your lease. But that's not all you can do with the app.
Other Ways to Use DoNotPay
DoNotPay is the world's first robot lawyer. Use it to:
And so much more! Try it today and see!