Q: I was forced to break a lease because of the safety for myself and my daughter after threats of deadly violence.
A written notice was given in advance to the landlord, but I am now being sued in small claims court for breaking the lease. The home was vacated and left in better condition than when it was rented to me. Can they do this?
A: The copy of a written notice of an issue is always useful. If the problem went uncured after notice to landlord, you very well may have had "cause" to break the lease. Specifically, in a lease, a tenant can agree to waive the default obligations/warranties of the landlord to provide a place free from vices/defects (problems), but the landlord CANNOT require that the tenant waive a warranty for vices or defects that SERIOUSLY affect health or safety. So, in court, you will need to show the problems with the premises that affected your health or safety, notice to the landlord, and landlord's failure to cure.
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