How can I break my lease with my apartment complex?

UPDATED: Sep 4, 2011

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How can I break my lease with my apartment complex?

We were just glad that we met all guidelines needed to move into our apartment. Now 7 months later, out of a 15 month lease, we need out. It is more expensive then we were led to believe, and the conditions are deplorable. I have found another alternative with someone I trusi and It would be easier on the budget. We have black mold on our deck and horrid spider infestations. We have told the management about both, and nothing has been done to help this situation. Everything is leaky, and its never cooler than 90 degrees in here. Its made us sick, and we need out.

Asked on September 4, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Colorado


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

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

In every lease, there is an implied warranty of habitability which means the landlord is required to maintain the premises in a habitable condition by complying with local and state housing codes.  When the landlord is informed by the tenant about a problem such as you described with leaks, mold, etc. , the landlord must respond within a reasonable time by making the necessary repairs.  If the landlord fails to respond within a reasonable time, the tenant has the following remedies: The tenant can make the repairs and deduct the cost from the rent or the tenant can 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.

The leaks, mold, and the temperature constantly at 90 degrees would be health and safety issues and would constitute breaches of the implied warranty of habitability.  It is unlikely that some cobwebs from spiders would constitute a breach of the implied warranty of habitability.  As for the place being too expensive, that would not be a valid ground for breaking the lease.

Your argument for a breach of the implied warranty of habitability should focus on the mold, leaks and the temperature constantly at 90 degrees causing your illness.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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