What to do if we signed a lease to an apartment that was sight unseen and misrepresented?

We were shown a different apartment in the complex and told that the one we were moving in to was the same. When we looked at the apartment it was in much worse shape, smaller and had a view of other balconies in the same complex that were covered in trash (one even had a piece of plywood installed so that they could pile more trash behind it without the trash falling off). We are breaking the lease because we no longer trust this company but they say we have to pay rent until they find another tenant. Is this legit? Also, we never spoke to a property manager with a real estate license. Is it legal for us to sign and them to fax it to the licensed agent?

Asked on September 20, 2012 under Real Estate Law, California


MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

You are correct to break this lease. You relied to your detriment on material assertions that were simply false. Explain to them there was no meeting of the minds, no bargained for exchange.  The contract is void and the terms were fraudulent. You will report this company and owner to your local consumer protection agency who handles landlord tenant disputes.  Depending on where you live in your state, you may wish to check on slumlord laws and check with the department of building and safety. 

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