Can I break my lease due to improper dryer ventilation?

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Can I break my lease due to improper dryer ventilation?

My dryer stopped working last month. The maintenance man said the problem was that the vent was too long, causing hot, moist air to back up into the dryer and room. He “fixed” it by venting the dryer directly into the crawl space/attic instead of outside. He told me this is safe and that he has done it in other units. From what I’ve read, this is a mold/health risk. I emailed management 2 weeks ago and called twice this week, but nothing has been done. Can I legally break my lease? I don’t want to pay a penalty, but I also have asthma and don’t want to live with the dryer venting into the house.

Asked on September 16, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Oklahoma

Answers:

MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

You are absolutely in the right to do this, so you should talk to the health department in your city and county and also the building and safety department, because it could also be a fire risk. Before you move, talk to these agencies on Monday morning, have them come out to inspect and tell you whether this is legal or not. Then, if it is not, you can consider this to be a breach of the lease and immediately notify your landlord per the terms of the lease agreement and make sure you give enough notice and ensure you inform him you want your security back in full for his lack of habitability of the apartment if this is what the agencies tell you will happen.


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