What to do if my apartment will be uninhabitable for an extended period of time due to flood damage from a hurricane?

My landlord threatened legal action for unpaid rent. How can I break my lease?

Asked on November 7, 2012 under Real Estate Law, New Jersey

Answers:

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

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

You will most likely be able to terminate your lease based on the circumstances. If your apartment will be uninhabitable for an extended period, you may be able to claim "constructive eviction". So for example, if you just had to move out for a week or so (and your landlord paid to house you), then you would not have grounds to break your rental agreement. However, if you are forced to relocate for a lenghty period of time, you can legally terminate it (and obtain a refund of your security deposit). 

At this point, you should consult directly with an attorney who specializes in landlord-tenant matters or at least speak with a tenant's right advocacy group, so as to be fully apprised of your rights under applicable state law. 


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 AttorneyPages.com 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.