What are our options to break a lease?

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What are our options to break a lease?

I have lived in an apartment for 4 years and 6 months they have started to do a remodel on the apartments. They are asking that we go live in another apartment while the demo the kitchen and bathroom we have companion dogs and moving them over and over again stresses them out. Also they unhooked our central air on 05/26 and now 3 weeks later we are still without A/C. We have the companion dogs as well as 3 young children there have been days where the apartment reach 115

degrees. I am wondering if there is any laws that help get out of a lease. They never gave notice that the A/C was going to be unhooked at all. We have had to pack up the whole apartment cause they need to access all the walls and windows, as well as the whole kitchen and bathroom for the demo so we are basically living out of boxes even though we are paying our rent on time.

Asked on June 16, 2017 under Real Estate Law, Utah

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

If they offered you the other apartment--i.e. they would provide or pay for it--and you refused, deciding instead to live through the renovcation, you have no recourse and cannot break the lease. The law accepts that property owners may renovate their units, even if such can displace the tenants; so long as the landlord offers a more-or-less comparable unit for them to live in (or at landlord option, pays for a reasonable hotel/motel for the duration of the most disruptive parts of the renovation), the landlord has fulfilled its obligation of, in exchange for rent, providing a place to live; therefore, the tenant is held to the tenant's lease obligations (cannot get out of the lease)--even if the tenant declined the offered alternative accommodations. The landlord's obligation was to offer other accommodations while your unit is not inhabitable; so long as they offered, they did what they were legally required to do.


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