Leasing a company car can be a savvy business decision, but leases are legally binding agreements that are not easily broken. While health problems may get you time off of work or school, they're unlikely to get you out of a lease unless the lease has a clause specifically allowing a health exception. Some health conditions, however, can nullify a lease.
Before trying to break your lease, you need to carefully read the agreement. Your lease might have a provision allowing an assignment, refinance or cancellation for a serious health condition, particularly if that health condition interferes with your ability to work. If there's no such provision in the lease, you generally won't be able to break the lease due to a health condition, no matter how severe.
Understanding the Lease
There's no legal requirement that you read or even understand a contract such as a lease, but parties to a contract can't use deceit to encourage the signing of a lease. If you have a medical condition that renders you incapable of consenting to the lease, this could nullify the lease. For example, if you are blind and were unable to read the contract, you might be able to get out of it. Mental health conditions that severely inhibit judgment or decision-making could also be grounds to sue to nullify the lease.
Car Affecting Health
If your car affects your health, this could nullify the lease. Lease agreements generally require that the car be delivered as promised, so major defects in the car could nullify the agreement, particularly if the manufacturer doesn't fix them. For example, if you have asthma and the car's exhaust backs up into the vehicle, this could be grounds to terminate the lease. You'll generally have to give notice to the other party and give them a chance to remedy the problem before terminating the lease.
Renegotiating a Lease
While a health condition might not automatically get you out of the lease, it could give you a reason to try to renegotiate the lease. Try contacting the leasing company and explaining how your medical condition affects the lease, and then ask for options -- such as refinancing or assigning the lease to someone else -- to get out of the lease. Some leases allow you to assign the lease with permission, and if your lease has such a clause, you'll need to find someone willing to take over your lease.
Van Thompson is an attorney and writer. A former martial arts instructor, he holds bachelor's degrees in music and computer science from Westchester University, and a juris doctor from Georgia State University. He is the recipient of numerous writing awards, including a 2009 CALI Legal Writing Award.