Can I break a lease due to a robbery?

This is a discussion on Can I break a lease due to a robbery? within the Landlord vs Tenant Issues forum, part of the REAL ESTATE & PROPERTY LAW category; I was assaulted and robbed in my apartment. Does that give me grounds to break a lease early due to ...

Consult Your Own Personal Lawyer Now!
Reply  POST NEW QUESTION

 

Thread Tools Search this Thread Rate Thread Display Modes
Old Jan 12th, 2008, 01:24 PM   #1
Unregistered
Guest
 

Unregistered's Avatar
 
Posts: n/a

Confused Can I break a lease due to a robbery?

I was assaulted and robbed in my apartment. Does that give me grounds to break a lease early due to an unsafe condition?
  Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
International Law Issues?
Old Jan 13th, 2008, 12:43 PM   #2
Top Level Member
Country:  
OHlandlord's Flag is: United States
 

OHlandlord's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: southern OH
Posts: 585

Default re: Can I break a lease due to a robbery?

Probably not. If there are unsafe conditions in your unit, you must notify the LL in writing of the problems and allow him time to correct the problems (to repair). Send a letter to him by certified mail, return receipt requested, detailing the problems with the unit (for instance: front door does not lock correctly, there is no lock on the front BD window, etc.) You must notify the LL of problems with the unit and allow him time to repair before you may break a lease based on those problems.

What were the circumstances of the robbery and is your unit in a multi-unit building? Is there a common area? Is it kept locked? Locks on exterior doors? Locks on all windows? Deadbolts on your unit's doors? (How did the robber get into your unit?) What unsafe conditions exist?

If all of the above security features are in place, the LL has done the appropriate things. You could ask him for additional lighting (security lights in common areas or outside, motion sensor lights, etc.) or for deadbolts to be installed if there are none.
OHlandlord is offline   Reply With Quote

Did you find this post helpful? Yes | No
Old Jun 13th, 2008, 10:37 PM   #3
Unregistered
Guest
 

Unregistered's Avatar
 
Posts: n/a

Confused re: Can I break a lease due to a robbery?

My apartment door was kicked in while I was at work and my apartment was rummaged through. Luckily nothing was taken, I suppose the police were responding to the other 3 breakins at the time and the burglars were spooked and didn't grab anything. Its been a moderately quiet complex but I can't imagine ever sleeping there again. I am a young, single female (who lives alone and works evenings so I return about midnight). I want to look for a safer place to live but I have 4 months left on my lease. With a police report can I break the lease?
  Reply With Quote

Did you find this post helpful? Yes | No
Old Jun 13th, 2008, 11:59 PM   #4
Unregistered
Guest
 

Unregistered's Avatar
 
Posts: n/a

Default re: Can I break a lease due to a robbery?

No. Your place was locked and secured. You said yourself that it has been a moderately quiet complex. The LL did not break into your place and had provided the normal locks to secure it. The fact that you perceive that you are no longer safe is false. You are exactly as safe as you were before (providing your door has been repaired.) No place is safe. A thief can break into any apartment. He can break into any house. Your door was locked as any normal door would be. That's all any LL msut do - provide a secure environment. The fact that someone wants to smash doors or windows to get in is not the LL's fault. If you break your lease because of your perceptions, you will be held accountable. Try getting a door alarm or ask that deadbolts be installed. A police report only shows what happened that one time. It is not indicitive of future crime.
  Reply With Quote

Did you find this post helpful? Yes | No
Old Mar 21st, 2009, 06:15 PM   #5
Unregistered
Guest
 

Unregistered's Avatar
 
Posts: n/a

Question re: Can I break a lease due to a robbery?

My apartment was robbed by someone who has my key because there was no forced entry. The only people who have been in my apartment are the Landlord and the employees she hired to fix my broken washing machine. Can I break my lease? I dont trust her or the maintenance people who work here anymore.

ps I live in Los Angeles
  Reply With Quote

Did you find this post helpful? Yes | No
Old Mar 22nd, 2009, 10:42 AM   #6
Unregistered
Guest
 

Unregistered's Avatar
 
Posts: n/a

Default re: Can I break a lease due to a robbery?

Just because you don't see evidence of a forced entry doesn't mean there wasn't one. Google "lock bumping". This is a new way to break into units with no signs of forced entry. The only signs are found inside the lock itself. Nothing is visible from the outside of the door. This technique is so easy that there is a video on the internet of a small child doing this! Chances are this is what has happened to you. Request new locks from maintenance if you suspect someone has the key. But you do not have grounds to terminate because you place was robbed. Sorry. Crime is everywhere. If you can prove it was maintenance or the LL's fault your place was robbed, then you may be able to terminate.
  Reply With Quote

Did you find this post helpful? Yes | No
Old Mar 25th, 2009, 03:48 PM   #7
Unregistered
Guest
 

Unregistered's Avatar
 
Posts: n/a

Confused re: Can I break a lease due to a robbery?

The apartment I live in had a deadbolt that worked but the door was broken, it seemed locked when you turn the knob but it can be pushed open so if the deadbolt isn't locked anyone could get in. I came home one day and my door was wide open. That is how I found out about the door problem. I have told the LL about the door but he has not done anything to fix it. Should he fix it or do I have to just lock the deadbolt all the time?
  Reply With Quote

Did you find this post helpful? Yes | No
Old Mar 25th, 2009, 10:29 PM   #8
Unregistered
Guest
 

Unregistered's Avatar
 
Posts: n/a

Default re: Can I break a lease due to a robbery?

Have you made a repair request in writing to the LL? Sent it to him by certified mail, return receipt requested? If not, do so immediately. Keep a copy of this. And be sure to write in the repair request that your lock will not secure your premises. (Although, you can actually secure the place by using the other lock, you should still have this fixed.)

If he refuses. you may be able to use repair and deduct remedies to have the door repaired and subtract this from your rent. CAUTION: this is not legal in all states, so you must post your state for exact information!


Or you can choose to fix this yourself if you do not want to wait. It is a simple fix if you are slightly handy. This is the keyed entry lock (the handle lock) that is not latching into the strike plate that is causing the problem. Take a sharp pencil or fine point marker. (For reference, the latch is the part that sticks out of the door, the strike plate is the metal curved plate in the frame with the hole for the latch.) Close the door until the latch just touches the strike plate. Mark the door frame (not the strike plate because you may need to move it!). Mark the door frame just above and below the latch itself. This will show you the height to the latch. Open the door and see it the height falls within the hole of the latch. The bullding may have settled just enough to make them mismatched. If so, unscrew the latch and move it up or down to meet the correct height. You may need to carve a slight indentation into the wood for the strike plate to rest flush. Rescrew the strilke plate into the frame. It should latch securely.

If the height is not the problem, there may be 2 other reasons your door is not latching. They may not have drilled out the entire wood behind the hole in the strike plate. (Strike plate holes are usually a rounded rectangle, but installers may take a short cut and only drill a round hole.) If so, it may be preventing the latch from entering the frame enough to catch. If this is the case, you only need to remove the wood inside the hole.

The other possibility if the height of the latch is not the problem is that the strike plate may be too far in to catch. Close the door all the way. Look at the latch with a flashlight. If you can't see the edge of the hole in the strike plate nearest you, it may need to be reset closer to the inside of the door.

This sounds harder that what it really is. In actuality, this is a simple fix. It is just hard to describe in words without knowing how handy you are. I have fixed these types of problems many times. It never takes more than 10 minutes. If it can be fixed that quickly, you may not want to wait for the LL in order to be sure you place is secure. But that is your choice.
  Reply With Quote

Did you find this post helpful? Yes | No
Old Mar 26th, 2009, 08:05 AM   #9
Unregistered
Guest
 

Unregistered's Avatar
 
Posts: n/a

Default re: Can I break a lease due to a robbery?

Thanks it seems pretty easy but after looking at it I'm not sure if that will fix it. The door is not flush when closed. It seems to me it is the actual door itself that is the problem. I wrote that in on my move in list, every little thing I noted I wrote down. Some things the LL verbally said he would fix and is still not fixed. Shortly after moving in I called to ask about it but had to leave a messege. No call back so I sent a letter that I found online that said he has 14 days to fix it according to the stats. His wife calls and yells at me for sending the letter. I can try again and see what happens.
  Reply With Quote

Did you find this post helpful? Yes | No
Old Mar 27th, 2009, 12:47 PM   #10
Unregistered
Guest
 

Unregistered's Avatar
 
Posts: n/a

Unhappy re: Can I break a lease due to a robbery?

I have been robbed on three different occassions at the same residence. We rent from a property management company. When we first moved in we got robbed, our lawmover was taken from beside our house while my husband was out getting gas for it. We didn't report it that time because the cost was too little and it was our fault that we left it out. The second time we were robbed, we reported it and asked the property owner to install an alarm, to which he replied, "I guess I can do that." He never installed the alarm. Only a month later we were robbed again, this time our door got kicked in. We believe all of these are the same people and feel like they are watching us. After this last time we became very afraid because we have small children. We talked to the property management about getting out of the lease, they said we could leave but would be responsible for the last 5 months of rent. We sent them a certified letter that due to the our children and our safety that we are moving and that because we asked for them to install an alarm, they agreed and never did, that it was a breach of contract on their parts and they did not maintain habitability. Do you think that we have a strong case if we were to get sued, because we are leaving for fear of our safety?
  Reply With Quote

Did you find this post helpful? Yes | No
Reply

Bookmark & Share

Tags
None

This thread has 31 replies and has been viewed 29887 times

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:


Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Format Your Messages
Add Forum to Google Toolbar
Forum Jump

Similar Threads

Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Can I terminate lease due to robbery Unregistered Landlord vs Tenant Issues 4 Jun 25th, 2012 07:33 PM
Break Lease due to Accomodation Request? mahjong11 Landlord vs Tenant Issues 6 Oct 18th, 2011 10:21 AM
Can I break lease due to changes in disability status? CaliRenter Landlord vs Tenant Issues 2 Apr 9th, 2011 06:37 PM
break my lease cause / breaking the lease due to a suicide Unregistered Landlord vs Tenant Issues 2 Jul 14th, 2010 05:07 PM
Break Lease due to circumstances - Virginia Loudoun_Don Landlord vs Tenant Issues 2 Jun 12th, 2009 12:15 AM


International Law Issues?


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 07:23 PM.