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socallegalwork, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 104
Experience:  Attorney and licensed real estate broker (and Certified Distressed Property Expert), specializing in real estate matters.
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We've been in a new lease few weeks. our roof has been

Customer Question

we've been in a new lease for a few weeks. our roof has been leaking since day one. there is a section of flooring that needs replace but they decided to do a fix that is already giving away. these are just a few things. would i have reasons to be let out of my lease?
Submitted: 5 months ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  socallegalwork replied 5 months ago.
There is an implied right to quiet enjoyment in every lease, regardless if it is specifically mentioned in the lease or not. Moreover, the landlord has a statutory duty to maintain a fit premises (see iowa code section 562A et seq. which lays out the state's landlord/ tenant laws). You have a few options. You can make the repairs yourself and deduct it from the rent. In this case, if you are deducting the repair costs from rent then you need to give at least 7 days notice before that rent payment (the one you are deducting repair costs from) is due. If you pursue this action, I would actually let the landlord know in writing well in advance that because of their failure to address the problem you intend to have it repaired- in order to give the landlord a reasonable opportunity to do the right thing and make the repairs themselves. As for terminating the lease. Typically in Iowa valid reasons for terminating a lease include if you are starting active military duty, the property has become uninhabitable and you are being "constructively evicted" (basically, the property is unsafe or there are significant safety or health code violations), and the landlord is harassing you or violating your privacy rights.It sounds like your best option might be to terminate based on the argument of constructive eviction. You should read the portion of the code discussing this to see if the various reasons you have for leaving justify terminating the lease (see sections 562A.21, 23 & 26). However, again you have to provide notice to the landlord (at least 7 days) and provide them with a chance to remedy the situation. I would give them as much notice as you can.

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