Can I break lease without repercussions since landlord won’t provide me with a copy of my lease?

Ask landlord 4 times for lease and asked agent I signed lease twice for a copy, and they won’t answer/provide me a copy. Landlord went over a month without fixing my toilet after I kept asking (I have 3 people to vouch for timing), made me wait a week to fix fridge when I have a small child, didn’t professional clean apartment when it was said (maybe written in lease), won’t fix my washer/dryer, and his general excuse is the traffic since he lives in the burbs, doesn’t want to deal with traffic. Do I have leverage for a break lease?

Asked on July 3, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Illinois


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Under the laws of all states in this country, your landlord's refusal to provide you with a copy of the written lease that you have for the rental does not in and of itself give you a legal basis to terminate your lease without recourse.

In the future, whenever you sign a contract you should make sure you get a copy of it immediately for your records.

I suggest that you write your landlord a letter asking for the copy of the lease by a certain date. If not received, you should consult with a landlord tenant attorney about this issue and the prior problems that you have had with your landlord in getting items at the rental fixed in a timely manner.

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