If my landlord never finished renovations afterI moved in, canI break my lease?

Approximately 4 months ago I found a house that was for rent, however, the landlord was still remodeling the basement. He said my family could move in since our other lease was up and we needed a house. We moved in and the 15th came and went and he never finished the basement. The house was meant to be a 4 bed, 2 bath but as it sits right now it’s 3 bed 1 bath and the bathroom has exposed sewer and it’s quite an awful smell. I’ve called him numerous times and nothing. How can I get out of the lease?

Asked on August 20, 2011 Utah

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

If you want the home's project completed or the option to terminate your lease, you need to write the landlord a letter requesting that he start up work on completing the home immediately and have a set date of completion, or you will be sending him a written notice of your election of terminating your lease due to its health hazards consisting of, but not limted to, exposed sewer.

If he does not respond in an acceptable manner, contact the local permit and building department as well as department of health and request an inspection of the home and stating the problems you are having with it from a health standpoint.

Most likely the home will be cited and the landlord will be forced to complete the work of improvement in an acceptable manner. If the conditions are bad enough, you might be able to terminate your lease.

In the interim, you should consider requesting a reduction in rent in that you are not getting what you are paying for.

Good luck.


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