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landlord with mental illness

Discussion in 'Living in, Use of the Premises' started by mmm323, Feb 2, 2015.

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  1. mmm323

    mmm323 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    My question involves landlord-tenant law in the State of: Maryland
    Here is the story. We have lived in our place for several years without issue. It is two houses owned by an oldish couple who live on the property with multiple tenants in one house. Up till now there has been no incidents and they have been good landlords. However, this week one of our landlords started acting weird for lack of a better word. Then I get a call from my wife on a saturday night when I was out that she gets home and there are police and firetrucks in front of the house. She gets out of the car and sees one of our landlords being led away in handcuffs by the police. The then talks to one of the other tenants who says the landlord came to the door hysterical saying the electrical panel in the basement was on fire. The tenant said they didn't smell anything and the landlord was obviously not in the right frame of mind. They called 911 and that is what led to the police coming. I don't know what happened other than our landlord was taken away and there was no fire. The next day we called the police and all they would tell us is that there was a false alarm for a fire and an individual was taken to the hospital. It seems clear our landlord has some sort of mental problem as he had been acting weird that week. My wife was quite upset and neither of use feel particularly comfortable with a person with mental illness having access to our apartment. Do we have any legal recourse to get out of the lease. Unfortunately we are early in our lease so just moving and biting the rent would not be ideal at all but the police were called based on an action of the landlord.
     
  2. KatDini

    KatDini Well-Known Member

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    Good luck with that. Why are you worried about a person who may or may not have a mental illness? Are you aware of the numbers of people who are 'mentally ill' but untreated in the general population? Do you think by moving you can get away from all of 'them'?
     
  3. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    You should be very careful in labeling anyone mentally ill.
    Only the person's physician can make that call in a medical sense, and a judge in the legal sense.
    At this point all you have is innuendo, rumor, and speculation.
    Even if the husband were mentally incompetent, the wife is still empowered to manage their holdings.

    You can approach your landlord and discuss what it might cost to allow you to break your lease.
    In many cases, money will set you free!
     
  4. Gail_in_Georgia

    Gail_in_Georgia Moderator

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    "Do we have any legal recourse to get out of the lease?"

    Based on your assumption (and no actual facts) that the landlord now suffers from a "mental illness"...no.

    Gail
     
  5. ElleMD

    ElleMD Well-Known Member

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    I'm in MD. I can promise you this isn't a valid reason to break a lease. You can ask the landlord if you would be allowed out of the lease, but fear of someone non-violent who might be mentally ill or had an episode as you describe doesn't grant you any legal recourse.
     
  6. mmm323

    mmm323 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    You are right I shouldn't jump to conclusions. I was simply relating the events that took place.
     
  7. mmm323

    mmm323 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    That is what I figured, I just thought it wouldn't hurt to ask. Out of pure curiosity then at what point does a landlords behaviour give grounds terminate a lease.
    When their behaviour means things go unrepaired because they are not in a state of mind to perform the duties required of a landlord?
    What if something like this happens repeatedly? I'm guessing the police could come 100 times but unless there is violence or threats of violence against our persons, or something like going into our apartment unannounced nothing can be done?
     
  8. mightymoose

    mightymoose Moderator

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    If you can not reasonably justify that you are in physical danger you won't get far with the complaint. The mental illness appears top be your own diagnosis. It could have been a side effect to a medication, lack of a medication, or a number of other things.
    You are free to move out at any time if you do not want to live there, you will just likely have to forfeit any deposits and make the landlord whole by paying lost rent or another agreed amount.
    Have you asked to break the lease? Make up any reason you want. Tell the landlord you must move out early and need to make arrangements. They might be totally cooperative.
     

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