If none of my outlets are grounded, is that cause to break the lease?

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If none of my outlets are grounded, is that cause to break the lease?

My apartment is part of a larger house with 6 other units, so am I also risking fire from their ungrounded outlets? I am worried about damage to my electronics, as well as the risk of fire; my outlets are blackened and have sparked occasionally when plugging my power strip in.

Asked on October 14, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Montana

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

First of all you need to immediately report this situation to the fire marshall; they will mandate that your landlord take immediate action. Additionally, every residential lease has what is called a "warranty of habitability". This means that a landlord must supply a clean and safe premises for you to live in. Since you are dealing with a legitimate safety concern, you have some options as to what to do and breaking your lease is one of them. However, there are strict guidelines for this; if you don't follow them you could be held liable for paying the remaining lease term.

At this point either consult with a local attorney or a tenant's rights organization.


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