Can I rescind a rental contract that I no longer wish to fulfill less than 3 days after initially signing?

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Can I rescind a rental contract that I no longer wish to fulfill less than 3 days after initially signing?

I signed my lease agreement today. I put down $100 in security deposit and agreed to pay up front for 6 months however they returned my cashier’s check because of an incorrect amount. I have since discovered that the apartment which I had not toured previous to signing the lease, is a dump. I don’t want to live there anymore but have already signed a lease. I don’t give a hoot about the $100 security deposit and have not paid anything in addition.

Asked on May 7, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Oklahoma

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

There is no grace period or rescission period for leases, as there is for mortgages; a lease is a binding contract as soon as you sign it. Since you chose the sign lease without touring the apartment, you voluntarily took the risk it would be unacceptable--so long as it is habitable, even if it is dump, you are obligated to it. If you break your lease, your landlord could pootentially sue you for all the rent you'd owe for the entire term or duration of the lease (e.g. for six months' rent), since that's what you obligated yourself to. The landlord may apply your deposit to that amount, then sue you for the balance.

If the apartment is uninhabitable--e.g. no heat, mold, large leaks in roof, major electrical problems, etc.--then you might have grounds to terminate your lease without penalty for breach of thhe "implied warranty of habitability"; however, you would first need to provide your landlord  with notice of the deficiencies and an opportunity to correct them.


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