Is it possible to break our lease if our apartment complex doesn’t take care care of maintence andan antproblem?

UPDATED: Nov 17, 2011

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Is it possible to break our lease if our apartment complex doesn’t take care care of maintence andan antproblem?

We have asked our apartment complex to fix our maintenance and an ant problem that have been occurring for over 4 months. They say that they will come fix the problem and then never show up. Is there a way out of our leasing agreement?

Asked on November 17, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Florida


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

You have several options due to the fact that very residential lease contains what is called an an implied "warranty of habitability". This is a guarantee given to a tenant that the tenant will live in a clean and safe rental (i.e. "habitable" premises). Consequently, if your landlord fails to perform necessary maintenance or needed repairs, you can either repair the problem and deduct the cost from your rent; withhold your rent until the repairs are done; or terminate your lease and vacate. 

However, before pursuing any of the above self-help measures, you should consult with a real estate attorney who specializes in landlord-tenant cases.  If you fail to follow all legal procedures regrading these remedies, you could find yourself in legal trouble.


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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