Is it legal to break an apartment lease that doesn’t start for about another 2 1/2 months?

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Is it legal to break an apartment lease that doesn’t start for about another 2 1/2 months?

My daughters have lived in this apartment for a year and we have had so many problems trying to get things fixed. Most of them are fixed now only because I called the home office, however they don’t want to live there anymore because of all the problems. he lease they are in now ends next month. They are also having to deal with loud parties/people smoking pot in apartments under them.

Asked on June 11, 2015 under Real Estate Law, Oklahoma

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

1) If they have signed a new lease that will start in 2 1/2 months, then the lease is already binding--once a contact (and that's what a lease is: a contract) is signed, it binds the signatories even if it's nto to take effect until the future.

2) If they do not have "quiet enjoyment"--the ability enjoy their leased space without disturbance--due to their downstairs neighbors, they *may* be able to terminate their lease on that basis IF they give their landlord notice (preferably written, and sent some way they can prove delivery) of the disturbance and a reasonable chance/time/opportunity to correct the problem (such as by warning the downstairs neighbors they could be evicted for their conduct--which they could be--and, if necessary, evicting them) and despite that notice and opportunity, the landlord fails or refuses to act. This can be a complex thing to do, however, in order to do it right; if you want to explore this option, you and your daughters are advised to consult in detail with a local landlord-tenant attorney.


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