/Can I break my lease if part of the rental home is left uninhabitable by the previous tenants?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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/Can I break my lease if part of the rental home is left uninhabitable by the previous tenants?

I moved into house about 3 weeks ago, and immediately noticed a urine smell coming from the back room, which is the only room that has carpet. I contacted my rental company and they sent a professional out to inspect the carpet. Upon inspection it was noted that the carpet was so bad it needed replaced. Now, 2 weeks have gone by and I can’t even get my rental company to contact me back and I can’t move anything into that back room because of the awful smell and unsanitary conditions of urine soaked carpet. Can i legally break my lease without having to pay the fee since the company has failed to provide a home with rooms that are habitable.

Asked on February 4, 2019 under Real Estate Law, Florida


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

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Your lease has an implied warranty of habitability, which means it must be in compliance with the housing code.  The situation you described is clearly a breach of the implied warranty of habitability.  Your remedy is to either move out and terminate your obligation to pay rent for the balance of the term of the lease or if you stay, you can withhold rent and defend against eviction. You are not liable for a fee for breaking the lease if you move out due to a breach of the implied warranty of habitability.

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