Q: I have a restraining order against an ex, who moved back to the city I live in. Can I break my current lease to move?
I have a restraining order against an ex due to domestic violence. He moved away to San Diego, so I remained in Rancho Cucamonga. I have just got wind that he moved back to Rancho Cucamonga and is within the vicinity. I do not feel safe and would like to move asap. Can I break my current lease without penalty?
A: I have a couple of answers for you. First of all, you should immediately contact the police if your ex violates the restraining order in any way. Second, it is probably up to your landlord whether or not your ex's presence in Rancho Cucamonga is grounds for breaking the lease. If your landlord is nice, he might let you break the lease. Third, if your ex is bent on continuing the domestic violence, you should do whatever you have to do to get away from him. Having the police involved would be the best situation, especially if he violates the restraining order and goes to jail. I hope that helps. Good Luck.
I have not had a case on it before, but there is a Civil Code section (1946.7) that sort of addresses this. You can google "California landlord break lease domestic violence" and it comes right up. I am not clear on scope, though. In other words, if the restrained party lives in your same building, I would say the landlord would be required to allow you to break your lease. If the landlord lived in the same city, but it was 10 miles away and your restraining order only says he can't come within 300 feet of you, I am not certain your landlord would have to let you out of your lease.
Most landlords I know of just don't want to lose any money so they only care about how difficult it is to re-rent the place to a new tenant.
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