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Dwayne B.
Dwayne B., Attorney
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 32154
Experience:  Began practicing law in 1992
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On June 1st, I signed a 1 year lease on a property in

Customer Question

On June 1st, I signed a 1 year lease on a property in Petaluma, Ca. I have sold my home in Clovis, Ca. and the escrow is scheduled to close on June 16th. My lease agreement started on June 1st. I gave them a check for $4,600 to include security deposit and 1st and Last month rent. The check was cashed the following day. My daughter, lives in Petaluma, and went to the rental to setup an arrival surprise for me. She started to clean a little, and began finding many things that weren't working in the rental. Such as, the dishwasher wasn't balanced or attached. The washer/dryer unit was not working, there were left overs from the previous tenant in the refrigerator, the shower was leaking on the bathroom floor, 2 of the window blinds were broken. All and All the place was extremely dirty. Oh yes, and she spotted fleas in the built-in drawers. Since I have already signed the lease agreement and given my deposit, do I have any recourse in getting back my money and canceling the lease?
Submitted: 4 months ago.
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 4 months ago.

Hello and thank you for contacting us. This is Dwayne B. and I’m an expert here and looking forward to assisting you today. If at any point any of my answers aren’t clear please don’t hesitate to ask for clarification. Also, I can only answer the questions you specifically ask and based on the facts that you give so please be sure that you ask the questions you want to ask and provide all necessary facts. Please note: This is general information for educational purposes only and is not legal advice. No specific course of action is proposed herein, and no attorney-client relationship or privilege is formed by speaking to an expert on this site. By continuing, you confirm that you understand and agree to these terms.

If this was seen at a time in which the property was "yours" and the lege had started then you can claim there is already a breach of contract and therefore the contract is no longer valid.

However, most courts want you to give them a chance to fix these types of things so what I'd recommend is you give them three days to fix them and send them a letter along with proof of whatever you found wrong. The best thing to send is pictures and a list but if you can't get pictures then just a list is fine.

You may also want to consider having a local lawyer send the letter. The advantage to doing that is the lawyer will phrase it in such a way that it maximizes the effect of the letter if yu have to sue or if you get sued and the letter is offered as evidence.

You can take the position that you don't want to give them a chance to remedy the situation but none of these are so awful that you can be 100% sure that the court, if a lawsuit occurs, will find them to be a "material breach". The judge may very well do that, but there is also a chance that he won't.

If your question has been answered then I'd offer my best wishes to you and ask that you please not forget to leave a Positive Rating so I receive credit for my work.

Of course, please feel free to ask any follow up questions in this thread. I want to be sure that all of your questions are answered. In addition, once you issue your Positive Rating the question will lock open and you can come back to it anytime in the future if you think of something else.

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