Can I break my lease for safety reasons and if so how?

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Can I break my lease for safety reasons and if so how?

There are no outside lights here and I have put in several complaints verbal and even a couple written notes since I’ve moved here 10 months ago But they have yet to fix the lights outside and at night its so dark you cant see your hand in front of your face. there are no hallway lights and a few of my neighbors were almost mugged by a man hiding out there they couldn’t see him due to no lights. On 7 months ago I fell on ice because I couldn’t see it and it was not salted I was 9 months pregnantand last night I fell carrying my son’s car seat because I couldn’t see in the dark.

Asked on August 2, 2011 Kentucky

Answers:

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

In every lease, there is an implied warranty of habitability which means the landlord must maintain the premises in a habitable condition by complying with local and state housing codes.  Inadequate lighting may breach the implied warranty of habitability as a safety violation.  When there is a breach of the implied warranty of habitability, the tenant notifies the landlord as you have done.  The landlord is required to respond within a reasonable time by remedying the problem and making necessary repairs.  If the landlord fails to respond within a reasonable time as occurred in your situation, the tenant can make the repairs and deduct the cost from the rent or move out and terminate the obligation to pay rent for the balance of the term of the lease or if the tenant decides to stay on the premises, the tenant can withhold rent and defend against eviction.


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