I Have a Stalker… Can I get out of my lease?

Posted by David Kanne on Sunday, April 13th, 2014 at 12:53am.

Pop Star Selena Gomez is famous for many things; however, one thing she may not enjoy as a result of her fame is her stalker.  While most people may believe that stalkers only impact the lives of celebrities, this couldn’t be further from the truth.  In reality, stalkers impact the lives of Texans everyday.   As a result, the Texas Property Code allows for a tenant to vacate their lease and avoid liability when the tenant is the victim of certain sex offenses or stalking.

Specifically under chapter 92 of the Texas Property Code, a victim or qualifying relative of a victim has the right to terminate their lease, vacate the property and avoid liability for future rent or other sums due as a result of their termination when the qualifying assault occurred within 6 months of the lease termination and occurred on the premises or dwelling on the premises.  As specific documentation of the qualifying assault needs to be provided the landlord in order to terminate the lease, anyone faced with this situation should consult his or her legal provider.   Fortunately for the tenant, a landlord who is in violation of this is liable for actual damages, a civil penalty equal to the amount of month’s rent plus $500 and attorney’s fees.  However, if faced with this situation, it is important to know your rights in the event you or someone you know needs to find new housing.  If Austin City Realty can be of any assistance in finding your next lease or property, please contact your Austin City Realty agent.    

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