What are reasons to legally break a lease?

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What are reasons to legally break a lease?

Can I legally break a lease if the home is not listed as a rental property? If the landlord still has his own items taking up half of our enclosed porch? If we were told that we would be able to use the washer/dryer, and then were told they would charge for use? Can we break it since we told him to remove it and it’s still in our utility room, so we can’t get our own? Not to mention that he hasn’t even installed the plugs. If there are loose, uncapped wires in the utility room? Because we weren’t informed that the outside plugs/hoses don’t work? Etc?

Asked on August 10, 2010 under Real Estate Law, Michigan

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

A lease is a contract; it is enforceable by each party against the other party. If one party--whether the landlord or the tenant--breaches the lease, then that *may* consitute grounds for the other to terminate the lease. Generally, it takes a "material" breach--or an important one; one going to the basic benefit of th bargin you contracted--to justify termination of a lease.

However, even if the other party's breach would not justify termination, at the very least, breaches of a lease (or any other contract) are things that can be sued over. For example, if the landlord is breaching your lease and not providing the services, facilities, etc. you contracted for, you be entitled to monetary damages. You could also seek a court order forcing the landlord to correct the situation.

You should consult with an attorney to see exactly what your best options and recourse are.


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