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Roger, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 30909
Experience:  BV Rated by Martindale-Hubbell; SuperLawyer rating by Thompson-Reuters
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I signed a five year lease space with a number of conditions and terms. In the

Customer Question

I signed a five year lease for office space with a number of conditions and terms. In the three years I have been in the space, the terms have changed. There have been a number of issues (heat/ac, noise, bathroom upkeep, and client/employment safety) that have interfered with carrying out professional tasks and functioning. Another co-signer of the lease left early, without penalty. The landlord addressed some of these issues, albeit not completely, so a lower rent was agreed upon as a temporary measure. The problems continue to be present in the space. There is no amended lease to reflect these changes. Since the terms of changed, can I now break the lease before the full five years is up?
Submitted: 6 months ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  Roger replied 6 months ago.
Hi - my name is ***** ***** I'll be glad to assist. If the landlord has broken the lease agreement, then you'd have a right to inform the landlord of its breach and demand that the issue be resolved within a period of time.....and if the landlord doesn't resolve the issue, you could cancel. Normally, the lease outlines how to deal with breach, notice periods for the breaching party to cure, you should take a look at the lease and see if there are any such provisions.
Expert:  Roger replied 6 months ago.
If there's no specific protocol in your lease agreement, then you would just have to send a demand letter to the landlord, demand compliance with the lease, and inform the landlord that if the repairs aren't made within a reasonable time, you will cancel the lease. Generally, breaches are to be cured within 20 days under Rhode Island law.
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Someone mentioned to me that once the terms change and the signed lease is no longer followed, the lease becomes a "month to month" rental. Is this true? I'm trying to avoid potentially quibbling about repairs and other issues with the space. Thank you.
Expert:  Roger replied 6 months ago.
Generally, that's not true unless the lease calls for that. Instead, the usual procedure is to notify the landlord of the breach and give time to repair or remedy the issue. If the repairs are completed, the lease will continue. If not, you would then have a right to cancel based on the breach.

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