Can I break my lease if facts were misrepresented in application?

UPDATED: Jul 26, 2012

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Can I break my lease if facts were misrepresented in application?

I had to go through a lengthy application process for my apartment. I was told that utilities would be included in the monthly rent, and this was represented in my application which was submitted to the landlord. However, when the lease was drafted, utilities were not included in the rent. Do I have a right to break the binding application?

Asked on July 26, 2012 under Real Estate Law, District of Columbia


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

If you have not yet signed the lease and you can show that you only applied due to the misrepresentation that utilities were included in the rent, you would have grounds to rescind your application due to the misrepresentation. (An issue may be whether you can prove the mispresentation, if the representations were only made orally rather than in writing.) However, if you went ahead and signed the lease, you you could not rescind the application or break the lease--by signing it, you would be deemed to have agreed to its terms, including paying for utilities separately.

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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