Can a landlord sue me if I wish to leave and have not given him my signed contract yet?

UPDATED: Dec 12, 2011

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Can a landlord sue me if I wish to leave and have not given him my signed contract yet?

The main reason for leaving is that he is a horrible landlord, which has not performed any of his duties that we have asked him. We have constantly asked him to fix a privacy issue we have in the bathroom because the doors do not lock and there is no fire detector alarm in our kitchen. He also told me he would furnish my room and I am still currently sleeping on the floor. I cannot deal with this anymore and I want to leave. He does have an email which as information regarding the 12 checks I owe him for the year. I have given him 4 for the time I have stayed. I was wondering if I could leave?

Asked on December 12, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Virginia


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Whether or not you have a factual basis to end the lease that you have with your landord without recourse for further payments for time left on the lease depends upon what the written lease states. As such, I would carefully read the lease for grounds allowing you to end the lease without recourse in that the lease sets forth the obligations owed to you by the landlord and vice versa in the absence of conflicting state law.

If there are physical problems with the rental, possibly have the local health inspector or the local building and permit department make an inspection to see if there are code violations warranting the end of the lease without recourse to you. I suggest that you consult with a landlord tenant further about the situation you are writing about.

If you have not given your landlord the signed lease agreement by yourself, there is nothing preventing him or her from bringing a legal action against you.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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