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

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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

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 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.


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