My question involves landlord-tenant law in the State of: California
My family moved into an apartment in July 2009. Each year since, we have renewed our 1 year lease. In September of 2011, a new tenant moved into the apartment across the hall from us with her 3 children. Beginning in January of 2012, this person started causing a disruption. In January, the police were called to her apartment because she had overdosed on alcohol and drugs. This caused her to be charged with child endangerment and her children were removed from the home. In March 2012, she overdosed again and again the police were called. In April 2012, she moved in a roommate and they immediately began fighting. The yell at each other all hours of the day and night and can be heard in adjoining apartments. At the end of May, this person was banging on our door at 3:30am. When I answered it, she was clearly drunk and possibly high. She was standing at my door holding a tumbler full of vodka. The next morning, the fighting with her roommate started around 7:00am and at some point someone in the building called the police. They came and broke up the fight, but nothing else was done.
After that incident, my wife and I decided we had put up with this long enough. With younger children in the house, we don't feel it's a safe environment anymore. Our lease expires July 31st, but we would like to leave July 1st. We started looking for another place to live back in March after the second overdose and we finally found someplace. The issue is the apartment manager refuses to work with us at all. We were told we need to pay all the way through July and if we leave 1 day earlier, we will e hit with a $2500 cancellation fee. We have complained about all the incidents in the past, and I know that other people in the building have as well. Is there any way to get out of this lease? Aren't we entitled to "quiet enjoyment" of our apartment?
If anyone can cite the civil code that would allow us to break this lease a month early, I would appreciate it. If there is no way, we'll probably just tough it out, but we will end up losing out on a great place that we could get in to now.
Thanks in advance for any advice.