Can I break a leasedue tounsafe conditions?

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Can I break a leasedue tounsafe conditions?

We just renewed our lease for another year in the housethat  we have been living in. Since that time, we have had an electrical fire above my child´s bedroom, and the electrician who came in told us the wiring in the house was “shotty” and that it was unsafe and he couldn´t gaurantee that it wouldn´t happen again. Is there a way for us to get out of the lease we signed a month ago, since we no longer feel safe in the home? According the the electrician who came out, the house would need to be completely rewired to be up to code.

Asked on December 6, 2010 under Real Estate Law, Washington

Answers:

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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

In every lease there is something known as the "implied warranty of habitability".  This is the right of every tenant to have a rental unit that is in a safe and liveable condition.  Based on the facts that you have presented, this is clearly not the case in your situation.  So you more than likely have the right to terminate your lease.  However, there are laws and procedures for just how to legally do about this, and they vary from state-to-state.

At this point you need to consult with a tenant's rights group or landlord-tenant attorney in your area.


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