IfI signed a lease but didn’t get whatI requested, amI still liable for the termination fee?

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IfI signed a lease but didn’t get whatI requested, amI still liable for the termination fee?

When I did my application I asked for an upstairs apartment. After signing my lease I went to see the apartment and it was a downstairs apartment and the tenants above me were loud. I advised them that I couldn’t live under those conditions. I never moved anything into the apartment and terminated my lease. Am I still liable for the termination fee even though the mistake was on their end and not my own?

Asked on February 14, 2012 under Real Estate Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

You probably are liable under the lease. You indicate that you "asked for" an upstairs apartment, but you do not say that the landlord promised, or represented to you, that you would  get one. Your request is not legally binding: only if the landlord had misrepresented to you, to induce you to sign the lease, that you would get an upstairs apartment (which might then be fraud) or the lease stated it was for an upstairs apartment, but wasn't (which would be breach of lease) would you have grounds to get out of the lease. On the other hand, if you requested an upstairs an apartment but the landlord never said you were getting one, and you signed the lease before seeing which apartment you had gotten, you would almost certainly be obligated under the lease.


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