Cleveland, OH asked in Real Estate Law for Ohio

Q: Can I break my lease or sue my neighbor for continued harassment?

I am 1 of 3 people living in a duplex and I am having ongoing issues with my neighbor on the first floor about the driveway. I'm the only one who lives here who owns a car. However, for 7 years my neighbor has allowed her visitors to use the driveway when they come over. So far I have been threatened with a crowbar and blocked into the driveway because her family bullies me for not sharing the driveway. The way this house is designed does not allow me to move my car up to share the space, that's why parking isn't guaranteed on my lease. If I pull up too far, I block access to the backyard, which is also access to 2 tenant's units. If I keep my car near the end, I get harassed for not sharing it with guests. The landlord has already drafted a letter stating no guests are to park in the driveway, however my neighbor keeps giving me trouble about it. Police can't help me and my landlord doesn't get involved in tenant disputes.

Related Topics:
1 Lawyer Answer
Joseph Jaap
Joseph Jaap
  • Cincinnati, OH
  • Licensed in Ohio

A: Landlord is not going to solve your problem with the neighbors. And your landlord does not have to allow you to terminate your lease early. But you can talk to the landlord about an early termination, and try to work it out -- maybe offer landlord an extra month's rent. Nothing makes you stay there if you want to leave. But if you do leave, landlord can then sue you for unpaid rent until able to re-rent the premises. If you leave, landlord also could file an eviction to officially terminate your lease rights. An eviction is a permanent court record that can make it difficult for you to rent from a landlord who checks the records. That really is not a problem that the legal system can fix. Neighbor problems can be difficult to resolve, and can get a lot worse if you take legal action. Your vehicle could be vandalized, and you would have no way to prove who did it. Things could escalate from there. Use the Find a Lawyer tab to retain a local attorney to review possible options, including negotiating an early termination with your landlord so you can move -- as the police already suggested.

Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.

The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.

Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.