If my landlord fails to provide a livable facility, can I break my lease early without penalty?

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If my landlord fails to provide a livable facility, can I break my lease early without penalty?

I have a 15 month lease and have lived there for only 6. My toilet has been flooding for the last 3 months. I have had maintenance come and fix it on several occasions. My apartment is now flooded with sewage and is uninhabitable. They have records of the maintenance requests that I have made over the last 3 months. Problem still persists. I know that NV law says that I can break my lease if after 14 days of requesting the fix, the landlords has attempted to the best of their ability to solve the problem but it still exists. Can I move without payment of rent and penalty fee?

Asked on October 27, 2010 under Real Estate Law, Nevada

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

You need to seek help from an attorney in your area.  There is under the law what is known as a warranty of habitability.  That means that means various things under the law but it appears that your apartment is "uninhabitable."   That would make the lease voidable but not necessarily void.  If there were no services - like working toilets - then it also means that you could be seen as "constructively evicted" from your apartment as well.  You seem to be aware of the law in your state but most Judges do not like "self-help" and it is not in your best interest to just leave.  I would start an action in court and pay your rent in to court until the matter is decided.  Ask that the court void the lease.  Good luck.


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