Tenant breaking lease due to medical reasons - CA

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Old Jul 18th, 2009, 08:26 PM   #1
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Default Tenant breaking lease due to medical reasons - CA

My Tenant is breaking their year Lease after only being there three months. He says it is due to medical reasons and needs to move closer to the Hospital. If my California Lease Agreement did not state anything about terminating the lease early can I hold him to paying the rent until new Tenants are found? Are there specific laws for medical reasons and being able to get out of the lease?
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Old Jul 18th, 2009, 08:46 PM   #2
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Default re: Tenant breaking lease due to medical reasons - CA

Depends on the medical problem. If he has a disability and the unit can not be made to accommodate him, then he may be able to terminate under the Americans with Disabilities Act. If he does not require accommodations and would just prefer to be closer to some place for his convenience, I would guess he may not terminate.

If he has just cause to terminate as in example one above, you would have to allow him out of his lease. If he just prefers to be closer and doesn't have to be, you could charge him rent until it is re-rented, advertising costs, unpaid utility costs, and agent fees if you use one.

If the man legitimately has a medical need and should be closer to the hospital for his health reasons (ie- would need to be treated quickly for his condition to save his life, needs to go for treatments several times a week, is infirm and cannot tolerate travel well, etc.) consider allowing him out without penalty if you can rent it quickly. Ask him to allow you to show the unit while he is still there. If he cooperates and needs to move, let him go.
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Old Jul 18th, 2009, 11:02 PM   #3
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Default re: Tenant breaking lease due to medical reasons - CA

Thank you for writing on my concern and informing me of the Americans with Diabilities Act. The house has stairs and that was his main issue. I think it just became difficult to go up and down, but should have been considered before renting a two-story. The letter explaining his reason was really hard to follow also, almost wanting to add confusion and I love to trust people, but this just seems white lieish.
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Old Jul 18th, 2009, 11:28 PM   #4
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Default re: Tenant breaking lease due to medical reasons - CA

The ADA prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in employment, State and local government, public accommodations, commercial facilities, transportation, and telecommunications. It also applies to the United States Congress.
This does not sould like it would have anything to do with allowing them to have different rights or priviliges on terminating a rental agreement early. Why would they not have to pay the rent until the place becomes rented once again?
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Old Jul 19th, 2009, 11:10 AM   #5
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Default re: Tenant breaking lease due to medical reasons - CA

To the last poster. You are dead wrong! Rental offices must even display the ADA/EHO/Fair Housing poster in plain sight just because it DOES apply to all housing. It is a federal law (Fair Housing Amendment Act of 1988). Discrimination on these named restrictions are prohibited in any facet (employment, training, housing, etc.) There are even "testers" from the ADA and Fair Housing who call LLs while pretending to have these issues to see if they will be offered units. There are HUGE fines for not following this law.

This law states that you must allow certain reasonable accommodations to be made to the rental property at the tenant's expense if they are needed to be able to stay in the property. It further has been upheld that if these accommodations cannot be made, then the tenant must be allowed to terminate.

In the case of a tenant who can no longer climb stairs, the tenant can request and you approve a chair lift to be installed. The tenant must pay for the installation of all accommodations and must pay to return the unit to its same condition after his tenancy. This would be a reasonable accommodation. If, for example, the tenant could not medically use a chair lift and required an elevator, and no space was available to install an elevator or it was too expensive to be practical, the LL would have to allow the tenant to terminate as accommodations could not be made.

In your case, if climbing stairs is the problem, ask the tenant if any accommodations can be made to allow him to stay in the property. If he cannot afford the accommodations, there are several programs that may help him pay for these accommodations. You can call HUD or the local Fair Housing office in your area for more information of these.
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