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Breaking Lease - GUNSHOTS fried in building

Posted by Tim on February 24, 2002 at 17:54:23:

I rent a 1st floor, three bedroom apartment in what otherwise is a rooming house in Poughkeepsie. I have a private entrance which is in the rear of the building. I didn't discover that the building was a rooming house until after I moved in and met a couple of the neighbors. Had I known it was a rooming house I wouldn't have rented there. There have been problems in the other part of the house and the police have been there several times, but for the most part I have been well separated from all that. I had more trouble with my ceiling leaking four times.

Two weeks ago I heard some unusually loud noises followed by a gunshot. The police said they found two shells, but I only heard one shot. The intended target was out at the time of the incident thankfully. Not even a week later there was a domestic violence incident which I called the police for. I, along with my children, was threatened for doing so by the tenant involved in the incident.

I informed my landlord the day following the shooting that I would be leaving as soon as possible. He cited the fact that I am in a lease until June and told me he would be keeping my security. He also said he would persue the 5 months rent in court. Both these remedies are stipulated for breaking the lease.

Would a judge hold me liable for breaking the lease under these conditions? What is entailed in obtaining police reports? Should I withold rent?

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