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

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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

Answers:

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

Answered 10 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.

 


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