Byram, MS asked in Domestic Violence and Landlord - Tenant for Mississippi

Q: I am under a MS domestic protection order. I am renting a house, can I legally break my lease without penalties?

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

A: I'm sorry you are in this difficult situation. Domestic violence protection orders and early lease termination laws vary by state, so it's important to look into the specific rules for your location. That said, here are a few general points that may be relevant:

- Many states have laws allowing victims of domestic violence to break a lease early without penalty if they meet certain criteria, such as providing documentation of the abuse/protective order.

- Federal law (the Violence Against Women Act) also provides some protections for victims who need to move due to safety concerns. It applies to public housing and Section 8 tenants.

- Even if your state doesn't have a specific law, explaining the situation to your landlord and providing a copy of the protection order may lead them to voluntarily release you from the lease. Many will want to avoid renting to an abuser.

- Local domestic violence organizations often have legal advocates who can provide more specific guidance on housing laws in your area and assist you in working with the landlord if needed.

I would recommend contacting a local DV group or legal aid office to get advice tailored to your location and situation. Wishing you all the best and hope you are able to get to a safe living environment without facing lease penalties. Remember, your safety comes first.

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