I am going to break my lease. What is the best way to do this?
I live in just outside of Philadelphia. A couple months ago I moved to a modern townhome where I am currently renting a room. The owner said that the house had central a/c, heat, etc that it was fairly modern and that she was just seeking someone to share the costs of living. Her emails to me said that I could use the house freely. We signed the lease. So now we're getting into summer, and she's told me I am not allowed to use the air conditioning, that she hates a/c. I've tried to talk with her about it and find a compromise. She will also not allow me to have a window unit. One of the time I was talking with her about it, I told her that if I knew that there would be no a/c, I would not have moved in. She then responded that I was 'Free to look around'. So that is what I am doing. I have asthma and allergies that pretty much require me to have a/c in the summer. I feel like I need to leave her an official letter or something. It says nothing about leaving in the lease. What to do?
She sounds like the landlady from hell! On the first of the month, give her 30 days' written notice of your intention to vacate the premises. She has 30 days, after you leave, to refund your deposit. If she doesn't, you can take her to small claims court. She lead you to believe that you would be enjoying the benefits of the a/c. Your health problems are a good enough reason to break the lease. She also said that you are 'free to look around' so it sounds like she doesn't really care if you leave. You have a right to be comfortable in your own home. Find another place to live.
Give her notice.in writing that you plan to leave.
If she advertised a/c...
And one of the reasons you signed the lease is because she had it, you need it, and you were of the impression that you could use it...
You can sue her for breach of the lease and recover your rent paid thus far because the unit was not as advertised. (Advertising as having a/c presupposes the tenant is allowed to use the feature.)
Edit according to your info:
You may still be able to sue if you have medical documentation of your asthma and that air conditioning is a necessary measure to control your attacks.
First of all, you should go to a lawyer and have them read your contract and answer your questions.
Second, some general principles. Your written contract supercedes all previous oral discussions and representations. The written contract does not specifically state that you are to be provided with air conditioning. A landlord must provide a 'habitable' space, but what is habitable is from the point of view of a reasonable person, not from your particular asthmatic view.
She may be breaching the agreement by not allowing you to use the appliances as this was specifically called for in the agreement. Whether this allows you to move out depends on whether that breach is 'material' to the contract--so important to the lease that it would have been a deal breaker. Having to wash your dishes by hand probably would not be considered 'material' by most judges.
What was material to you--the AC--should have been written into your agreement. Please learn from this experience and make sure your next agreement includes everything that you want.
Your best bet, since she has indicated that you could look around, is to ask if she would be willing to release you from liability for the remainder of the lease if you move out early. If so, get it in writing.
If she will not release you and you move out, she must 'mitigate' her damages by renting out the space again as soon as possible. You should do everything you can to find a suitable replacement, as you will be held responsible for your landlord's lost rent if you break the lease without legal cause.
Again, please see a lawyer to help you.
I would give her 30 days notice if possible, but if you have medical conditions and can prove that in court if necessary, you may be able to get out of the 30 days that is ususally required. If the topic was not brought up in the lease to begin with, I dont really think she can take you to court unless it specifically states you must stay there for a certian time period. If it is not stated, the lease is considered to be month to month. She also misrepresented the room to you when she said it had central air, but failed to tell you you wouldnt be allowed to use it. That is bull since she won't even let u have a window unit either. Find somewhere else to stay, and in the meantime got to the library, mall, movie theater, etc. where it is cooler.
it sounds as though landord is in breach of contract therefor constituting what is called constructive eviction , consult the free legal services in your area and or pro bono lawyers, and any renters rights group for best results
- The best way to break the rules are...knowing what the rules are!
So read the agreement and look at reasons why you can break the lease, then pick one.
- The best reasons have been you're moving out of state to care for a sick relative.
- OR...relay the fact that you have lost your job and problems finding another one because NO LANDLORD WANTS A DEADBEAT TENANT !!
- Overall, give at least 30 days or more prior notice.
give her a notice and state why you are leaving. Be prepared if she decides to take you to court for the rest of the rent for the term of your lease. Get anything in writing that you can from when you first started checking out that room.
Get the proper information, do it the way you have to, or you will be screwed for a long time, I am black listed, cannot rent anywhere, have to live in a boarding house with my son
Verbal contracts are as binding as written ones, if there are health issues and she has agreed to let you search that is an admission of breaking the lease but i would suggest you take a copy of the lease to a paralegal and get more pertain advice as the law is varied from state to state on renters rights. There are also web sites I am certain that link you to renters rights for your region, they are only a google click away. Good luck.
You are not screwed. She may be. You need a lawyer...desperately.
She showed you, a prospective tenant, through a house that had air conditioning. Now that you have rented it, she refuses to allow you to use it. You need air-conditioning for a medical condition.
Forget the letter. Move out of there. Get a lawyer and get your money back.plus more money for the inconvenience. This woman must be stopped.