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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2007

    Default Breaking a Lease Due To Medical Issues

    I live in Michigan, and am into the 3rd month of a 12-month lease in a 3 apartment remodeled Victorian home. I suffer from anxiety, depression, and insomnia, and am on disability because of this. When I moved in, the landlord said it was a quiet neighborhood, and that the upstairs neighbor was moving out, due to drug use and excessive traffic. I did inform the landlord at that time of my medical condition. The upstairs tenant ended up staying 2 more months while I dealt with noise. That tenant moved out, and, less than a week later, new tenants moved in. Upstairs is a couple with three children, from 12 to 2. Next door is a single mother with a 3 year old. Both groups just moved in. The upstairs neighbors make noise (over and above the children running), loud enough to vibrate the walls. This goes on until about 11 or 12 pm. Then the next-door neighbor starts in. Something banging on the wall between the apartments until 4 or 5 am. There is, in the lease, a clause that states: 'Tenants shall not create noise that disturbs the peace of other tenants'. When I talked to the landlord, he said, "It can't be that bad, really. I'm on vacation, but when I get back, I'll watch for excess traffic. You really need to learn to deal with noise."

    I have a note from my psychiatrist stating that this issue could cause me to become suicidal. Insomnia, in and of itself, can kill, or render a person incapacitated. I am currently wearing ear plugs about 16 to 20 hours a day. I can hear them through the plugs, with a fan and music on. The lease states I am liable for all rent from the time I leave until the 12 months are up, payable immediately, if I break the lease. Given that he is suing the previous upstairs tenants for the rent, even after EVICTING them, mediation is not an option. Can I, legally, break the lease without having to pay the entire 9 months rent? (I understand that I would have to pay for unrented time, but he is renting as soon as the tenants leave so it would not be more than a month).

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Behind a Desk

    Default Re: Breaking a Lease Due To Medical Issues

    Consult a lawyer about the lease - the penalty clause sounds unlawful, and may provide you with a basis to avoid a penalty if you leave early, or provide a potential counterclaim. I wouldn't want to take that chance, though, without having the lease reviewed by a real estate lawyer.

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