Early Move-Out Due to Abuse Won’t Breach Lease

Question: Eight months ago my husband and I signed a one-year $1,200 month lease for a condominium in Peoria. We have lived there with our four-year-old and six-year-old sons. Although my husband has been verbally and physically abusive to me almost from the beginning of our marriage, I am used to it. My husband is unemployed, and is home with our two sons during the day while I am at work. Last week he got angry and severely beat our two sons while I was at work. I moved out immediately and filed a complaint with the Peoria police department. We are all living temporarily in my sister’s one-bedroom apartment until I can find another rental home. Will I have to pay the remaining four months of the lease, which is almost $5,000?

Answer: No. Under A.R.S. §33-1318 of the Arizona Landlord Tenant Act a victim of domestic violence can basically terminate the lease by showing the landlord a copy of a protective order or a police report.

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