My friend and his fiance have a mentally ill woman living below them who is making their lives absolute hell. They live in Massachusetts. Would there be consequences if they break their apartment's lease to leave because of her?
The lady who lives in the apartment below them is schizophrenic. She routinely throws furniture around, pounds on walls, screams during the night, posts awful derogatory (and often scary) notes in common areas (pics of some are posted on my flickr
, if you're interested), and stomps up and down the building's stairs while singing in the middle of the night.
It's getting worse. Neither of them are sleeping well and they don't feel safe there anymore.
They've already called the landlord regarding her behavior many times. Over the last couple months, they've called at least once a week to complain. The landlord keeps saying he wants to take steps to evict her, but other residents at the building claim he's been saying the same thing for longer than they've been living there. (Can you even evict someone because of a mental illness?)
They're six months or so into a one year lease. Can they legally break the lease and move without penalty because of the situation? If so, are there any formal steps that need to be taken to either get deposits back or protect themselves from this guy taking action on them?