Can I break a lease if the landlord deceived us?

UPDATED: Aug 18, 2011

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Can I break a lease if the landlord deceived us?

My husband and I went to see an apartment that was listed as “no smoking”. This apartment had air fresheners that were strong in the apartment as we viewed the place. We didn’t think anything of it, knew that it was listed as non-smoking and knew that another couple were looking to rent the place as well. We got the apartment and signed a 1 year lease. However when we went back to move a few things, the air freshener was removed and a strong odor of smoke was throughout the apartment. I am allergic to smoke and cannot stay here. Can we legally break the lease since he misrepresented the apartment?

Asked on August 18, 2011 Louisiana


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

If the apartment was listed as a "no smoking apartment" for rent by the landlord, you are allergic to smoke by the landlord, it turns out that the landlord hid the smoke "smell" before the lease was signed and if you had known the true facts you would not have entered into the lease, you have a good case of misrepresentation by the landlord entitling you to rescind the contract for the one year lease.

You need to write the landlord a letter right away about the problems with the smoke odor, your allegeries and the need for him to sign an agreement rescinding the lease with him and you where all parties walk away from the agreement and the unit. If the landlord is unwilling to do this, you need to consult with an attorney about your situation.

Good luck.

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 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.

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