You and/or your household (your children or any adults other than the abuser who live with you), who are domestic violence, sexual assault, unlawful harassment and/or stalking survivors may end a lease with your landlord if these things are true:
- A record of reporting the domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking to a “qualified third party.” See Sample Record of Report below.
* A “qualified third party” can be the police, sheriff or deputy, state court employees, doctors, nurses and other health care professionals, licensed mental health professionals or counselors, clergy, or crime victim or witness program advocates.
* Reporting to a qualified third party may help you end your lease. It does not give you the same protections as a protection order.
- You must notify (tell) your landlord in writing that you (and/or your household member) are a domestic violence, sexual assault, unlawful harassment, and/or stalking victim. You must attach a copy of the protection order or report to a qualified third party. See Sample Letter #1 or #2. If you are attaching a Record of Report form, the “qualified third party” you reported to must have a copy of the form that includes your abuser’s name (Page 1 of the Record of Report Form). The copy you give the landlord (Page 2 of the Record of Report Form) does not have to name the abuser.
- You must notify your landlord that you will be breaking the lease within 90 days of the incident that led to the protection order or report. You can do this in the same letter you use in step 2. See Sample Letter #1 or #2. This is not 90 days from the day you reported the incident or got the protection order. It is 90 days from the date the incident happened.
If these three things above are true for you, you can end your lease and move out without having to pay for the rest of the time on your lease. You must still pay the rent for the month you leave (even if you leave in the middle of the month), but you will be entitled to a refund of your deposit. Read Can I get My Security Deposit Back? to learn more.