Can I get out of my lease?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Can I get out of my lease?

I entered into a commercial lease for a warehouse space in February. The landlord
gave me a temporary space until my permanent space was completed. The addendum in
my lease said they have 60-90 days to have the permanent space done, but it has
now been five months and we have not heard anything. We have also had other
problems with the rental charge being incorrect each month that we have been
there, and the landlord is difficult to work with. I would prefer to get out of
my lease and move to a different space, and I feel that they have broken the
lease by not having our permanent space ready as indicated in the Lease Addendum.
Can I get out of this lease without penalty?

Asked on July 11, 2016 under Real Estate Law, Michigan


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

A material, or important, breach, or violation, of a lease by one party to it (such as the landlord) lets the other party (the tenant) treat the lease as terminated and get out of it without penalty. Not providing you permanent space by the time it was to be completed would typically be considered a material violation, as would be charging you the wrong amount for rent. Based on what you write, you should be able to escape this lease, but ideally, should first give the landlord one last chance to "cure" or fix the problem: give the landlord written notice, sent some way or ways you can prove delivery (e.g. fed ex with tracking or certified mail), which notice recites the history of problems to date and gives him 10 days to move you into permanent space and correct any issues regarding rent. If he doesn't, treat the lease as terminated; by giving one last chance to fix things and written notice, you will avoid having the landlord trying to claim you accepted the problems and did not consider them material, or not give him adequate warning.

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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