Ifa lease has been signed but the apartment is blocked from receiving power by the utility company, can the lease be broken?

Get Legal Help Today

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Ifa lease has been signed but the apartment is blocked from receiving power by the utility company, can the lease be broken?

My wife and I moved into an apartment 2 weeks ago and were told that the apartment management would facilitate the transfer of utilities (electricity) over to us. Then 2 weeks and repeated phone calls to the utility company later, the power is still off. The order to start service was cancelled because it was not completed properly and the utility company refuses to turn the power on because they say the meter has been tampered with and a $200 tampering fee must be paid before the apartment can receive power. To make matters worse, the apartment management refuses to pay the tampering fee.

Asked on February 3, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Mississippi

Answers:

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

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

In every lease there is an implied warranty of habitability which requires the landlord to maintain the premises in a habitable condition by complying with local and state housing codes.  Not having electricity is clearly a breach of the implied warranty of habitability  When there is a breach of the implied warranty of habitability, the tenant notifies the landlord as you have done and the landlord is required to respond within a reasonable time by making the necessary repairs.  When the landlord fails to respond within a reasonable time and correct the problem by having the electricity restored in your case, the tenant has the following options for a breach of the implied warranty of habitability:  The tenant can make the repairs and deduct the cost from the rent which is impractical in your case 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 stays on the premises, the tenant can withhold rent and defend against eviction.  Another alternative is to sue the landlord for breach of the implied warranty of habitability.


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 AttorneyPages.com 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.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption