Landlord and Tenant Rights and Responsibilities

questions & answers

Question: My 84 year old mother is no longer capable of living alone due to several disabilities. She will need to break her lease. The property management company is threatening to hold her responsible for the 6 months remaining on the lease. Does the fact that she cannot live alone any longer allow her to break the lease with a smaller penalty?

Answer: Unfortunately, a landlord is not required by law to permit a tenant to terminate a rental agreement early without a penalty or with a lesser penalty due to the tenant’s age or infirmity. If the rental agreement contains an early termination clause that specifies how much the tenant will owe if they break the lease before it ends, then, ordinarily the terms of that clause will be enforced. However, if the rental agreement does not contain an early termination clause, then the landlord has a duty to “mitigate” (A.R.S. 33-1305(A)) – that is, a duty to do their best to reduce – any monetary damages that will result from the tenant leaving early. This means that the landlord must make a good faith effort to find a new tenant as soon as possible and may only charge the former tenant for rent lost when the unit was empty and for the costs involved in re-renting it.

QUESTIONS

  • My 84 year old mother is no longer capable of living alone due to several disabilities. She will need to break her lease. The property management company is threatening to hold her responsible for the 6 months remaining on the lease. Does the fact that she cannot live alone any longer allow her to break the lease with a smaller penalty?

STORIES

  • He told me that I could actually get all the money I needed by using my home as collateral. . .
  • I just helped my mother, age 89, deal with her Medicare HMO. . .
  • He told me that I could actually get all the money I needed by using my home as collateral. . .

LegalLEARN

YOUR FEEDBACK IS NEEDED

FIND LEGAL HELP

  • Please select your county of residence below.

    County:
     

OTHER LEGAL RESOURCES

  • State Bar of Arizona
    www.azbar.org
  • Maricopa County Bar
    www.maricopabar.org
    Referral number 602-257-4434
  • Pima County Bar
    www.pimacountybar.org
    Referral number 520-623-4625
  • National Domestic Violence Hotline
    800-799-7233
  • Bankruptcy Court Self Help Center
    866-553-0893
  • Certified Legal Document Preparer Program
    Link

ORGANIZATIONS