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I am looking for some advice on how to get out of a lease that is due to expire in the middle of July due to uninhabitable conditions.

The apartment that I am referring to is in a 22 unit condominium complex where individuals own the apartment and the outside is taken care of by a condo association.

There have been 2 floods in the past 6 months. The first flood directly affected my apartment and was without carpet for 2 months and a hole in the ceiling for one month. Apparently, work was being done on the roof and a windstorm opened it up. The landlord was diligent in getting it fixed but the amount of time it took to fix was frustrating due to insurance red tape.

The most recent Incdent(and the reason why I think we can get out) took place on Monday night. The roof opened up again on the opposite side of the complex, this time much worse. It damaged fire equipment in the common areas and they had to cut power. We have not been able to go back since then even though our unit is 100% fine. In the landlord’s defense, he is putting us up in a hotel for the next 2 nights but he is not the one who has no idea where they are going next wek. We also have no idea when we can go back, sounds like it will be over a week.

He is a really nice guy, but there has been several problems so far and we want out immediately. I plan to draft a letter but was wondering if anyone has had any experience when dealing with an uninhabitable apartment. Thanks
We can’t get back in because there was damage to the fire system in the common areas by water. They also had to cut power in the building so the building inspector has barred access for everyone. I agree with what you are saying about the past and no physical damage to our place, but we are still barred from the apartment by the city? Is this still not enough to get out?
Also more details, this happened on Monday night 4/20 and I got a call last night from the red cross saying that it could be days before the power is turned back on….

2 Thoughts on Getting out of lease early from an uninhabitable apartment?
  1. Reply
    Tara T
    August 20, 2012 at 12:00 pm

    I had the same problem about this same time last year. You want to send 2 certified letters to the apartments where you live. You have to give the apartments time between each letter to resolve the issue. You can also send 3 regular letters but this will prolong the process and they could say they have not received your letter.

    If they have not resolved the issue in a reasonable amount of time you have the opportunity to abort your lease contract. You need to get online and look up the housing authorities and have an officer view the conditions of the apartment.They can fight for you. You must sound like you are Truly distressed by the condition of your living.

    I have to give it to them…they are going above and beyond to provide other means of living. For that reason the housing authority may say you don’t have a case and you don’t have rights. Good luck.

  2. Reply
    August 20, 2012 at 12:31 pm

    If the most recent incident caused no physical damage to your unit then it is NOT unlivable and you have no recourse. All the past issues are completely immaterial. You cannot do anything after the fact about the old incidents. If your unit is fine, then why can’t you get back in? That makes no sense. Even if you cannot get back in, that is a temporary situation and does not make it legally unlivable

    You can ONLY break a lease if the space you rent is unlivable. the rest of the building has nothing to do with you.

    Drafting a letter will do NOTHING! Even if it was legally unlivable, you CANNOT just give notice and leave!! It MUST be court ordered!

    You have no legal grounds to break your lease.

    EDIT: NOPE. As I said, the city keeping you out is a temporary situation. They are required to provide alternate accommodation, but you CANNOT get out of your lease. It is still valid as soon as it is safe to go back in. No court will allow you to break your lease for this.

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