Can I break my lease because of a fire code issue?

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Can I break my lease because of a fire code issue?

An apartment building in my complex burned down a couple weeks ago. It started in the garage and once it traveled to the attic it spread like crazy because the buildings were built before the fire codes were put in place. There are only three buildings here and they are all built the same. This makes me worry about my safety. The firemen couldn’t stop the fire once it hit the attic it traveled so fast through the attic. Can I break my lease knowing that my building is built the same way?

Asked on July 28, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Iowa

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Unless there is in place a "red tag" order from some governmental entity in your municipality or county where the rental is declaring that it is unsafe for human habitation, you cannot legally terminate your lease without recourse with your landlord because of the concerns that you have written about if you have less than thirty (30) days remaining on your lease or are on a month-to-month rental.


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