Can I break my lease if my landlord is slow to make repairs?

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Can I break my lease if my landlord is slow to make repairs?

I am leasing a condo and moved in 6 months ago. I’ve had previous issues with rust filled water and no access to mail which took 2 weeks and 1.5 months for them to fix respectively. Recently, I went on vacation and returned home to find a hole in my bathroom window caused by an air rifle. The window is double-paned and only the first layer was broken. It has been over two weeks since I informed them and they have not fixed it. This morning I found that a door in the unit, which leads outside, is no longer locking. If they don’t fix these items in 7 days, can I break my lease?

Asked on November 17, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Texas

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Unless your lease specifically has reference to the matters that you have written about as a means warranting you to end your lease, then the problems that you have written about do not legally justify you ending the rental agreement with the landlord.

As such, read your written lease (assuming you have one) carefully in that its terms and conditions control the obligations owed to you by the landlord and vice versa in the absence of conflicting state law.

In the interim, I would write the landlord a letter (keeping a copy for future reference) about the problems you have with your rental setting a specific date for the repair. Hopefully the landlord is repsponsive in getting the repairs done in a timely manner.


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