Can I Break My Lease if People Were Killed in My Apartment Complex?
Simply moving out won't end your rental lease payment obligations.
Tenant Leases and Crime
Tenants always have the right to break their leases before they expire, but financial penalties could result. Generally, California law allows tenants to break their leases only over issues that can be blamed on their landlords. For example, even if murder occurred in your apartment complex, if it was an unforeseen circumstance your lease obligations may still apply. On the other hand, if your landlord does nothing about addressing crime in your apartment complex, you might be able to terminate
your lease without penalty.
Rental Housing Habitability
The California Civil Code contains a list of the issues that can affect the habitability of a rental dwelling. Nuisances that may affect the habitability of your rental home or apartment include nearby drug trafficking and gang activity. In some circumstances, criminal nuisances may also include assault, rape, robbery and other violent crimes. Murder is also obviously a violent crime. If murder occurs in your apartment complex, you might possibly have grounds to break your lease over habitability conditions related to criminal nuisances.
Negotiating With Your LandlordSource: homeguides.sfgate.com