I'm on a lease, not a month to month. The lease, as of May 2012 is for 2 years.
The only thing that I can think of that might make the property uninhabitable is that there is a HUGE fly problem. The house has no air conditioning so I have to keep doors/windows open during the summer. The screens do not fit the front windows of the house properly so there's really no way to keep the flies out completely.
When I moved in the house WAS uninhabitable due to a severe roach infestation but I was uninformed of my rights and thought that because I'd signed the lease and paid the deposit, I had to take the house as is. When I tried to get my landlord to help pay for the costs of pest control, she refused and I got stuck with the bill.
I have spoken with her, via e-mail, and requested that she renegotiate my lease down to a year or to a month-to-month tenancy so that I can move as soon as possible. Her response was to offer me another property in a similarly run down area. I thanked her, turned that offer down and repeated my request to renegotiate the lease term. I have not received a response and do not expect to receive one.
However, if you decided to breach, the landlord has a duty to mitigate her damages by attempting to re-rent the unit as soon as possible. Once she does so, she can only hold you liable for her actual damages in the form of any lost rent and advertising costs. So if it takes her 1 or 2 months to rent it again, she can only hold you liable for that lost rent plus any advertising costs. The law seeks to put the non-breaching party in the same position they would have been in but for the breach.
So to minimize your potential liability, if you have to breach, make sure you leave the place as close to spotless as you can so the landlord can immediately put it on the market and hopefully rent it quickly.
Further, even though she could sue you for any lost rent, if she can't find you and you didn't leave a forwarding address, it is very difficult to sue someone.
As an aside, I have been a landlord for over 24 years and typically don't bother suing tenants as it is too time consuming tracking them down...
If you need further help, just reply to me via the “REPLY” button and I will be happy to continue.
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