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Loren
Loren, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 32560
Experience:  30 years experience representing clients.
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Hello. I am looking into possibilities to breaking the lease

Customer Question

Hello. I am looking into possibilities to breaking the lease on a house I'm renting without paying any hefty fees. Could you please help me with this?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Loren replied 3 years ago.
Thank you for using JustAnswer. I am JudgeLaw and I will do whatever I can to answer your question and provide excellent service.

Before we begin, a bit more detail would be helpful please.

Do you have a written lease currently in effect?

If so, how much time is left on the lease?

Why are you trying to get out?

Is the landlord in default?

Can you find someone to sublease?

Thank you.

JudgeLaw
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Yes I have a lease currently in place that expires in July 2014.


 


There have been countless problems I've encountered. A bad insect problem, broken ceiling fans, inoperative lights, swamp cooler issues, a hole in the wall of my bathroom with exposed insulation. The only thing that has been serviced was the swamp cooler. I read that if I had made these complaints in a written format I'd have a shot at breaking the leader on the grounds of negligence by the Agent, as it's been over a month since I've made those complaints. But alas, I sent these requests via text message. Now I moved into this house with a woman I had a relationship with for a year but she's no longer in the picture. She never signed anything to do with the renters agreement. And now I'm left with a hefty mortgage payment as a single dad with one source of income. I don't believe the landlord is in default, but I was hoping that the situation I have with the property manager would suffice.

Expert:  Loren replied 3 years ago.
Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX the additional information.

I am sorry to hear of your dilemma.   I realize how frustrating this is for you and I hope to provide you information which is accurate and useful, even though it may not be the news you were hoping to get.

If the premises, due to landlord's failure to maintain or repair, is rendered unhabitable, you can move out and declare the lease terminated. It is a gamble because if a court decides that the premises was habitable they will find ou liable for the rent and any other damages.

Without moving you can sue the landlord for breach of the lease for failure to maintain the premises as may be required under the lease. In the course of the litigation, you may find the landlord amenable to letting you out of the lease.

Finally, the easiest way to get out is if you can find a subtenant or assignee to take over the lease for you.

Additionally, be aware that the landlord has a duty to mitigate damages if you breach. They have to make a reasonable effort to find a new tenant.

It is my privilege to assist you. Let me know if you need further information.  I hope I have helped you beyond your expectations in the service I have provided to you.  I am here for you.

Please remember to rate my answer when our communication is completed so I will be compensated for my time in providing you with the information you requested.

If you feel the need to provide a low rating, please stop and reply to me via the REPLY button with whatever issue or clarification you may need. I will happily answer your follow-up questions and assist you until I am able to explain the answer to your satisfaction. Please also remember that I cannot control whether the law is favorable to your situation, so please do not penalize me for having to deliver bad news.

Thank you.

JudgeLaw
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you for your time and assistance. The effort is indeed appreciated. But I'm sorry to say that you didn't give me any information that I hadn't previously found on the internet. As I stated in the "Already tried" section, I've done a vast amount of research.

Expert:  Loren replied 3 years ago.
I am going to opt out of your question and open this up for other professionals. You do not have to stay online for the question to be active, or rate this question yet as it would then discourage others from answering. Should a professional pick it up, you should be alerted via email and/or SMS (text message) unless you actively disable these features.

There is no need for you to reply at this time as this may "lock" your question back to me, thus inadvertently delaying a response from someone else.

My apologies for any inconvenience and good luck.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Once again I appreciate your time and effort. Thank you for leaving my question open for someone else to assist with. There was also no inconvenience to me during the process. Thanks again!

Expert:  Loren replied 3 years ago.
You are very welcome.

Good luck. I hope it turns out ok for you.

JudgeLaw
Expert:  Loren replied 3 years ago.
I am unclear as to why you rated my service negatively. I thought we had left on good terms when I opted out. Is there further information you would like me to provide?

JudgeLaw
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

We did and it wasn't meant to be personal. It's more based off of the website itself and I didn't feel it was right that I paid for something that I had already known.

Expert:  Loren replied 3 years ago.
Please realize that the negative rating affects my personal standing on the site and I answer your question in good faith, not knowing what you know or do not know.

I am happy to answer your follow up questions until you are satisfied. Perhaps if you narrowed down the question a bit we could communicate better.

Also, realize that leases are enforceable contracts and not often terminable by either party. The fact that I merely confirmed what you found on your own may indicate that you already have the answer.

I any event, I am happy to continue, if you want.

Thank you.

JudgeLaw
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Send me the final notice again and I will change the rating. I just didn't feel I should've paid for something I already knew. Whether it was solidified or not. But it's fine. And I will change the rating.

Expert:  Loren replied 3 years ago.
We can continue to brainstorm if you like.
Loren and 5 other Legal Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Unless you can find a template of a REMAX Property Manager's Agreement contract so I can find any loopholes to help me get out of this lease, then I think I will simply have to keep researching elsewhere.

Expert:  Loren replied 3 years ago.
Have you considered contacting the building or health depts to send an inspector to check for violations?

That could potentially provide a basis for termination.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

No as I fear once these problems are identified on that level, they will be brought to the attention of the company. I'm trying to get out of the contract on the grounds that my property manager herself is in default by not responding to these issues in a timely manner.

Expert:  Loren replied 3 years ago.
Frankly, Eric, typically, those types of issues (failure to repair) will get you money damages, but it is not going to be enough to break the lease unless the items needing repair render the premises unhabitable. For example, no heat or no water.

If the items needing repair do not render the premises unhabitable it will not terminate the lease.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I have exposed insulation in my bathroom. Which leaves fiberglass floating around the air we breathe. It can be fixed by simply patching thehole in the wall. But it's been over a month since this has been looked into. I read multiple things that stated negligence on behalf of the property manager to respond in a timely manner could result in a termination. I just haven't been able to find the blanket agreement used by REMAX to cross reference what I've found.

Expert:  Loren replied 3 years ago.
The insulation issue is a habitability matter. Send a notice, via certified mail, that unless it is corrected within 3 days, you are going to be forced to leave for health reasons.

Take pictures to document the exposure and free floating fiberglass.

That could be a winner.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Ok. Thanks.

Expert:  Loren replied 3 years ago.
You are very welcome.

Good luck and thank you.