Real Estate Law
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Many leases have a specified penalty for early termination of a lease e.g. 2 months rent. Without an otherwise lease specified penalty for early termination you remain liable for the entire lease period or until such time as the landlord re-rents the property.
If the landlord sues to collect the rent under the lease you can use as a defense the the premises were uninhabitable due to the spider problem. You might consider calling the heath department or local housing inspector to come out and look at the problem and document the habitability of the property before you move out. You should also take pictures of the bites sustained. Landlord's must keep the premises habitable which would include free of infestations of insects spiders, rodents etc.
The law provides when a lessee or tenant has been constructively evicted ( forced to leave because of conditions) from the premises through no fault of the lessee or tenant, the landlord or lessor shall be required to mitigate his damages. Mitigation of damages means try to fix the problem or find a replacement tenant as quickly as possible. Since the landlord was unwilling or could not fix the problem you may get some relief for the lease term payments.
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This communication does not establish an attorney-client relationship.Information provided here is not legal advice. Rather it is simply general information.
I have already moved out of the property. Its too late to call the health department or take pictures. I issued two letters to the landlord stating that I have to leave the premised due to spider issues. After the first letter she sent one of her employee to come out and spray around the property. We held off moving out because we thought she was trying to fix the issue but she never continued to resolve the problem after the first attempt. three months later we wrote another letter saying we could no longer tolerate this issue. This was in November. We told her we were moving in March. This gave her plenty notice to find another tenant. We paid March rent and she still hasn't advertised to find another tenant. Now she wants me to pay April's rent. I need to know. Do I have a case to fight against this if I let her take me to court? Or will the court say I'm responsible? I checked my lease. It doesn't have a clause that says if I leave during my lease that I am responsible for the rent until a replacement is found. It only states that I lose my deposit. Based on this information, am I still liable to pay this rent?
You can fight this if she takes you to court. You need to realize that the Court's view is that absent a compelling reason parties to a lease are required to fulfill the terms to the lease. The landlord will rely on the lease. You will need to present evidence why the property was uninhabitable. At this point this is only testimony from you and your family.
Secondly, you will need to convince the Judge that the landlord failed to mitigate damages as required in 2 ways: 1) she did not remedy the spider problem, and 2) she did not look for a replacement tenant even with many months of notice.
The rest is up to the judge. He/she can find for you, or find for the landlord. The judge may offer a reduced amunt owed to the landlord or no amount owed.
What is the purpose of a security deposit? Doesn't that suppose to take care of move out cleaning if needed or do I loose the deposit all together and still pay for cleaning? How does the deposit go as far as breaking a lease?
Your deposit is supposed to be used for unpaid rent, unpaid utilities, cleaning, and damage. If the costs exceed the deposit amount the landlord can file suit to collect the remaining balance.
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Do i forfeit my deposit since i broke my lease or do the deposit still apply for the cleaning and damages regardless of whether I broke my lease or not?
You need to look at the terms of your lease. Normally, the deposit goes toward the unpaid rent. In some leases there is an early termination clause which describes loss of deposit + additional rent. Without the clause it is just lost rent.