What to do if we are 9 months into a lease and our landlord placed the house we are renting for sale?

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What to do if we are 9 months into a lease and our landlord placed the house we are renting for sale?

Even though our lease states 7 days notice for any walk throughs except for emergencies, we are required to show the property as if it is our own home. Not only that, there is mold from leaking pipes not fixed, the pool has a leak and we cannot keep up with the water to keep it filled and have to turn off the pump so the pump wont break and that is not taken care of and told we had to maintain the pool even though the lease clearly states the landlord responsibility. The airconditioners dont work most of the time even in central florida in mid summer. Can I terminate my lease early without penalty?

Asked on December 29, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Florida

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

You may  be able to terminate the lease early--not for the sale of the house, which the landlord has a right to do (note: if it is sold, the new owner becomes your landlord, subject to your existing lease), but because:

1) If the lease guarantees you 7 days notice of walk throughs other than in emergencies, but the landlord is requiring you to show the house with less notice, that is a breach of the lease; it also may be a violation of your right to "quiet enjoyment," if the number of walk throughs/showing, is unreasonable.

2) Mold issues and lack of working A/C may violate the "implied warranty of habitability," or the obligation on the part of the landlord to provide a rental unit fit for its intended purpose, or residence.

3) Requiring you to maintain the pool also seems as if it is a breach of your lease.

These various breaches may give you the right to terminate your lease early. However, because it is very fact- and context-sensitive as to when a tenant can do so, you are advised to speak with a landlord-tenant attorney, who can evaluate all the facts of the situation in detail, before doing anything.


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