Can I break my lease if I was told by both the property manager and the landlord that the property was clean and in good condition but it’s not?

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Can I break my lease if I was told by both the property manager and the landlord that the property was clean and in good condition but it’s not?

I moved into a rental from out of state. There are electrical and plumbing issues and the house is in poor condition. I’ve only lived here 2 weeks and I told the landlord of my concerns 1 week after moving in. The landlord said she’s willing to break the lease if she can find another renter and if I can guarantee that the new person will be a long-term renter and will pay their rent on time. Is that legal?

Asked on October 20, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Wyoming

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

You always have the right to have someone else take over your lease unless your lease specifically forbids it (this is called "assignment"), so the landlord is not necessarily doing you any favors--especially if she will require you to guaranty another person's performance under their lease and that they will be a good tenant. You do NOT want to be in a position you are guarantying what another tenant does.

Conditions that affect safety and habitability can violate the "implied warranty of habitability" and allow a tenant to terminate the lease without penalty. Whether any given set of conditions rises to this level--since only conditions that affect habitability do this (so, a generally poor condition of the rental, without health, hygiene, or safety issues, will not)--is something that must be determined on a case-by-case basis. You should consult with a landlord-tenant attorney about your situation; bring photographs of the unit.


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