Can a tenant break their lease due to no heat?

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Can a tenant break their lease due to no heat?

Lease states heat will be on from Octobor 1st to May 1st as weather and temperature permit. I still do not have heat and there have been very cold days and nights. Does this allow me to get out of my lease? If it does what do I have to do?

Asked on October 16, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Ohio

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

You are wise to have read your lease in that its terms and conditions control the obligations owed by the landlord to you and vice versa in the absence of conflicting state law. In all states, heat from a rented residential unit is deemed a material ground for the entry of the lease and is directly related to the unit's habitability.

If your landlord is not providing the needed heat for the unit you are renting, you need to write him or her about the deficiency stating that the lack of heat is material to whether or not you intend to continue occupying the unit and the failure to provide the heat is deemed a material breach of the lease by the landlord.

I would give the landlord five (5) days from the letter's date to make sure that the heat is on in your unit or you would terminate your obligations under it. Keep a copy of this letter for future reference.

If you get no response to your letter in that time period, write the letter another letter advising him or her that you are now ending the lease stating the specific lack of heat and designating your final day of occupancy. Keep a copy of this letter for future need.

Good luck.

 

 


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