Under what conditionns can a lease be terminated?

UPDATED: Jun 28, 2012

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Under what conditionns can a lease be terminated?

I am trying to terminate my lease. Some of the reasons I want to are because it took our apartment management over a month to fix our air conditioning and we had asked them 4 times. We told our apartment management multiple times that they did not have permission to enter without us there and I came home from work (when no one had been there) and our air was on full blast. Our lease states that the landlord will pay for the gas water and trash and we have been paying for gas ever since we’ve moved here. Also, I believe our apartments have been sold to a new owner.

Asked on June 28, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Michigan


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

1) If the A/C remains out and the lack thereof is rendering the premises not merely unpleasant but essentially uninhabitable--not fit to live in--then that might constitute grounds to terminate the lease for a breach of the "implied warranty of habitability." However, if either the A/C has been fixed or the premises are liveable, you cannot terminate the lease, though you might be entitled to some monetary compensation for the time you lived without A/C.

2) The landlord's or manager's continued violation of your right to possession by entering without proper notice and for proper reasons (e.g. 24 hours notice for inspections, maintenance, or to show for sale or rental), consent, or for an emergency (e.g. gas leak) could provide grounds to terminate the lease, but it may be very difficult to prove that they did this based solely on the A/C being on full blast.

3) Paying for gas when the lease says you should not would not provide grounds to terminate the lease, though you could sue to recover the money you paid but should not have.

4) A building or apartments being sold does not provide grounds to terminate a lease. The new owner takes the property subject to the lease and becomes your new landlord.

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