Phoenix, AZ asked in Civil Rights and Landlord - Tenant for Arizona

Q: My landlord will not respond, follow up or create any dialog regarding my ADA request, can I break lease without penalty

I have a Case opened with HUD and the Attorney General, but they take time to review and investigate. I want to break my lease ASAP as since I moved in 7 months ago the office staff and management refuse to respond or acknowledge my ADA accommodation request. It is affecting my mental health and causing me have thoughts of self-harm because I'm hindered from living my life because I cannot leave my dwelling and get to other parts of the complex to check the mail or to the parking lot adequately (the ramps not ADA compliant). Sent the request in writing several times and have called the office about the issues with no resolution or follow-up as they promised. My personal injury attorney who is working on another case out of good faith contacted the property management to verify that they had received the request which they confirmed they did. Still, no one has contacted me to come to a resolution or deny the request. I made another Accommodation request to get out of lease, no response.

1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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  • Landlord Tenant Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA

A: Under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), landlords are required to make reasonable accommodations for tenants with disabilities. If your landlord is not responding to your requests for ADA accommodations, this could be considered a violation of your rights under the ADA.

Given that you have already opened a case with HUD and the Attorney General, you are on the right track. These processes can take time, but they are important steps in addressing ADA violations.

In terms of breaking your lease without penalty due to the lack of response to your ADA requests, the answer is not straightforward and depends on the specifics of your lease agreement and state laws. Usually, breaking a lease can have legal and financial implications.

However, given the impact on your mental health and the hindrance to your daily living, you might have grounds to argue that the landlord's failure to respond constitutes a constructive eviction. Constructive eviction occurs when a landlord's actions or inactions make the property uninhabitable.

Before making a decision to break your lease, it would be wise to consult with an attorney who has experience in landlord-tenant law and ADA issues. They can provide guidance specific to your situation and help you understand your rights and the potential consequences of breaking your lease.

Document all your communication with the landlord regarding the ADA accommodation requests. This documentation will be important if you need to provide evidence of your attempts to resolve the issue and the landlord's lack of response.

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