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Roger, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 31788
Experience:  BV Rated by Martindale-Hubbell; SuperLawyer rating by Thompson-Reuters
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I had to break my rental lease in a luxury rental building

Customer Question

good morning.
i had to break my rental lease in a luxury rental building early. the reasons were mainly the excessive amount of pets (dogs) without restrictions to the common areas. additionally the ownership of the building had changed 3 months after we moved in, and the new managements came in aggresive and attempted to change many rules (as a consequence my cars were towed from the entrance area once) which made us feel unwelcome in our home. they charged us a month fee for breaking lease early. do i have a chance to get this back?
thank you so much for help in advance
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  Roger replied 2 years ago.

Hi - my name is ***** ***** I'll be glad to assist.

Before you broke your lease, did you send the landlord a letter identifying the issues and claiming that it was in breach of the lease terms and demanding that these issues be repaired?

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
i did not send the written requests but did complain in person
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
they did refund the towing expenses and fired the person involved with the towing incident (i gues that accept their fault)
Expert:  Roger replied 2 years ago.

Ok. Thanks.

Not putting the complaint in writing makes things difficult because the landlord isn't likely to admit you complained about a breach of the lease and they failed to remedy it.

That said, the only way to break a lease without penalty is IF the landlord breaks a condition of the lease (and you can prove the breach) or if you go active duty in the military, are a victim of domestic violence, the apartment violates Mass. health or safety codes or if the landlord has harassed you or violated your privacy rights. Here's a good link you can read:

Expert:  Roger replied 2 years ago.

If you can't prove a breach or a violation of one of these things, then it is likely that the penalty for breaking the lease would stand. You certainly can refuse to pay and see if the landlord sues....and if he does, you can put on your proof of the conditions in the property and the reasons you left....and let the judge decide the issue.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
i know of those standard reasons to break. and i decided to pay first to follow the rules and then try to get back. so not keeping the building clean and not keeping the animals from the common areas is not considered breach of contract?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
this caused me having allergic reactions and inability to use buidling facilities (main reason for being in a luxury building)
Expert:  Roger replied 2 years ago.

The cleanliness issue would hinge on whether the condition would affect the health and safety rules for Mass. or any local regulations.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
the hostility of the management causing us not to feel welcome and at peace at home?
Expert:  Roger replied 2 years ago.

The animal issue would hinge on whether or not the lease allowed animals or not...if not, then the landlord would be in breach of the agreement and you could claim a cancellation based on that breach.

Expert:  Roger replied 2 years ago.

You certainly could also claim that you were harassed and had to vacate due to that, but you'll need proof (preferably documentation) to support that.

Expert:  Roger replied 2 years ago.

At this point, the only thing you could do is file a small claims case against the landlord, claim these issues as the reason for your CANCELING (not breaking) the lease due to the landlord's BREACH and ask the court to order the landlord to return this assessment paid to you.

Expert:  Roger replied 2 years ago.

Please let me know if you need anything further. Also, please take time to positively rate our conversation so I may receive credit for assisting. Thanks again!