In most states, tenants who are victims of domestic violence have NO right to terminate their leases. This forces victims to choose between remaining in their homes and risking more violence and possibly death, or leaving their apartments and incurring substantial debt to their landlords for unpaid rents.
Reforming landlord tenant law to allow tenants who are victims of domestic violence to terminate their leases without owing further rents seems like a sensibile solution. As with all reforms there is another side to the story – the landlord's side – and so the reform is designed to create some balance and protection for landlords as well.
Shelley Kurtz is David H. Vernon Professor Emeritus in the College of Law.
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