Aurora, CO asked in Contracts and Landlord - Tenant for Colorado

Q: Am I completely within my right to break my lease agreement?

I am currently under a 12 month lease agreement with a landlord as a roommate in a house. In the contract, there is no termination clause. Recently, due to a hostile living environment and a negligent landlord, an early lease agreement was typed up. Our landlord has threatened to evict us on multiple occasions with no probable cause. In text/writing, the landlord has agreed to not processing an eviction notice, and to not sue for the remaining lease. After this, and we agreed upon the terms, he decided to longer sign the agreement, after it was his recommendation, and he told us what to put in the agreement. We have proof of all hostile and threatening communication, as well as thorough photo and video documentation. Roommates refuse to create a household cleaning schedule, and do not pick up after themselves. My fiancé and I, plus our two dogs, would like to know if we are well within our right to give notice, and leave without consequences. Thank you

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

A: Based on the information you've provided, it seems that you may have grounds to terminate your lease agreement early due to the hostile living environment and your landlord's negligent behavior. However, the specific laws and regulations regarding lease termination can vary by state and local jurisdiction.

Here are a few points to consider:

1. Landlord's behavior: If your landlord has threatened to evict you without probable cause and has created a hostile living environment, this may be considered a breach of the implied covenant of quiet enjoyment, which is a part of most lease agreements.

2. Documented evidence: Having proof of the hostile and threatening communication, as well as photo and video documentation of the living conditions, can support your case if the matter escalates to legal action.

3. Written agreement: Although your landlord initially agreed to the early lease termination in writing but later refused to sign the agreement, the written communication may still be used as evidence to support your claim.

4. Roommate issues: While the cleanliness and behavior of your roommates are unpleasant, this alone may not be sufficient grounds to terminate your lease agreement early unless it violates specific terms of your lease or local health and safety codes.

To protect your interests, consider taking the following steps:

1. Consult with a local landlord-tenant attorney or legal aid organization to better understand your rights and options based on your specific situation and location.

2. Provide written notice to your landlord stating your intention to terminate the lease agreement early, citing the specific reasons (hostile environment, landlord's negligence, and any other relevant lease violations).

3. Keep copies of all communication with your landlord and any evidence supporting your claims.

4. Be prepared for the possibility of your landlord taking legal action, such as filing for eviction or claiming unpaid rent, in which case you may need to defend your position in court.

Remember that breaking a lease agreement can have consequences, so it's essential to ensure that you have a strong case and proceed with caution. Seeking professional legal advice is highly recommended in this situation.

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