Can I move out without being held liable for future rent if our unit has safety violations?

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Can I move out without being held liable for future rent if our unit has safety violations?

It has been 4.5 months since we moved into our apartment where an inspector told us that the electrical is not up to code. The landlord has yet to fix the problem even after several phone calls, a written notice, and a letter from the city. It is also rented out to 2 families, even though it is only registered as a 1-family dwelling.

Asked on December 8, 2010 under Real Estate Law, New York

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 that the landlord must maintain the premises in a habitable condition by complying with local and state housing codes.

When there is a breach of the implied warranty of habitability as in your case, the tenant can either move out and terminate the obligation to pay rent for the balance of the term of the lease or if the tenant stays on the premises, the tenant can withhold rent and defend against eviction.


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