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CalAttorney2, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 10244
Experience:  I am a civil litigation attorney with experience representing HOAs, homeowners, businesses and others in real estate matters.
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I am writing on behalf of my sister in law, renting in New

Customer Question

Good afternoon. I am writing on behalf of my sister in law, renting in New Hampshire. Her apartment is an in-law style one bedroom apartment in the lower level of her landlords home. Within the first month, her apartment has ran out of water three different time for a day at the time. There is no laundry facility or dishwasher in the apartment, and the two occupants only shower once daily. The home's septic has backed up and flooded the back yard multiple times. There is also a spider and bug infestation in the apartment. She has brought these issues to the landlord's attention multiple times. The landlord has filled the water tank from a neighbor's hose, and added dirt ontop of the sewage overflow in the yard. My question to you, is, since the landlord cannot supply an adequate amount of water, and will not properly fix the bug and septic issue, can they legally break their lease?
Submitted: 12 months ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  CalAttorney2 replied 12 months ago.

Hello, My name is ***** ***** I will assist you today. Please give me a few minutes to write a response and identify any additional resources for you.

Expert:  CalAttorney2 replied 11 months ago.

Dear Customer,

While New Hampshire follows the "rent withholding" rather than the "rent termination" rules for habitability defects such as these, in many cases, a landlord that is faced with a tenant that is going to refuse to pay rent is going to be willing to negotiate a "walk away" where they agree to waive any lease termination claim in exchange for the tenant being allowed to break the lease early due to the defects in the property.

NH Habitability Law Summarized:



N.H. Rev. Stats. Chapter 48-A, §540:13-d


The governing bodies of the municipalities set the housing standards that must be met. The landlord is obligated to meet these standards.

Remedy for breach

In the event the landlord fails to meet the minimum local housing standards, the tenant may withhold rent until the landlord does the necessary repairs. See §540:13-d for details.