What to do about a breach of lease?

I signed a lease with a private homeowner. It was clearly stated to me and wirtten in the lease that the landlord would continue to pay their HOA dues and a portion of my rent was to cover those expenses. Therefore, I would have access to pool privileges, trash removal and lawn care. However I have been denied access to the pool since my landlord is behind in HOA dues. I have tried to reach out to the landlord and get this resolved and they will not answer my inqiries. What rights do I have as a tenant?

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

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

If the landlord breaches material, or important, lease provisions--as these seem to be--and the landlord has not "cured" the situation after written notice (preferably sent some way you can prove delivery) and a chance to do so, the tenant would have grounds to do one or more of the following:

1) Terminate the lease and tenancy without penalty due to the landlord's material breach;

2) Sue for monetary compensation (e.g. a rent reduction) for the time period the tenant has been denied some of the facilities he/she has been paying for; or

3) Seek a court order directing the landlording to honor his/her obligations.


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