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5 Conditions in Which Tenants Can Legally Break Rental Lease

There is a legal agreement in the form of a lease between tenant and landlord. Due to this, the tenant agrees to follow the terms of a contract that includes the length of stay. During the period of the lease, the situation may arise due to which tenants may not be able to live in the house for the entire lease term. In most of the cases, a tenant will face a penalty if he is trying to get out of a lease early.

If any tenant is going to illegally break the contract, then he might have to face the following consequences:

  • A landlord can sue you for the rent owed.
  • You can have an eviction on your record.
  • A landlord can sue for the breaking of contract and damages.
  • Eviction and Judgements will negatively impact the credit score.
  • It may be difficult for the tenants to find a new apartment.

Wondering, how can you legally break a lease? Following are the fives times when a tenant can legally break the rental lease:

1-Condition of the Rental Property

It is the duty of the landlord to maintain the property in a habitable condition. Some of the common obligations are:

  • Ensure that the water supply is available 24/7.
  • Keep the common areas clean.
  • Provide proper trash bins.
  • Strictly follow the health and safety codes.

Performing the necessary repairs. If you are looking for a professional to handle all the repairs, tenant screening, and other management tasks, then you should get in touch with Real Property Management Associates to avail the property management Cape Cod MA services for satisfactory results.

Tenants’ options for filing a health and safety complaint. There can be two conditions:

Complain Directly to Health or Safety Organization: If a tenant is complaining directly to building department or other health and safety organization, then an inspector will visit a property to see if tenant’s complaint is having any merit. If the claim is valid, then the landlord will send a violation notice to the landlord to fix a problem in a specified number of days.

Complain to Landlord: You have to keep the following things in mind in this case:

  • A tenant can provide a written notice to the landlord that there is a health or safety violation that should be repaired. State laws are different for violation and landlord have to respond and fix the problem accordingly to the defined limit.
  • In the majority of the states, if a landlord fails to fix a significant health or safety violation other than a simple repair, then the tenant is legally allowed to break the lease agreement.
  • For breaking the lease, a tenant will have to provide a landlord written notice of the tenant’s intention to end the lease of agreement. According to state law, a tenant has to wait for a certain number of days after giving notice before he can leave the property.

If the health and safety violation was so severe, then the tenant may leave immediately.

2-Violation of Entry Rules and Harasses Tenant

A landlord should give 24 hours’ notice before coming to visit the rental unit. The landlord can only enter for legal reasons like inspection of units, performing repairs, and showing the unit to prospective tenants.

A tenant can break the lease if:

  • A landlord is trying to enter the rental unit for a reason that is not legally allowed.
  • Trying to enter the property without proper notice.
  • Harass the tenant.

In this case, the tenant may get a court order to stop the behavior of the landlord. But if the landlord violates the court order, then termination of lease agreement by tenant should be done after providing the notice.

3-Tenant is Active Duty Military

The SCRA (Servicemembers Civil Relief Act) offers protection for active-duty military members. Such members are protected when they receive a change of station orders.

If a service member has signed a lease and then receives an order of relocation for a period of at least 90 days, then the tenant can:

  • Give written notice to the landlord about the termination of a lease agreement.
  • Provide a proof-like copy of the change of station order or military deployment.
  • Be given at least 30 days before the desired date of termination.

4-Rental Unit is Illegal

If the apartment in which tenant is living is illegal, then the tenant can terminate the rental lease agreement without any penalty. Every state is having different laws. But in the majority of the cases, a tenant is entitled to get at least a portion of the rent they have paid over the life of the lease. Furthermore, they may also get some additional money from the landlord to find another apartment.

5-Victims of Domestic Violation

Tenants who are victim of domestic violence have the right to terminate the lease early without penalty in most of the states. In this scenario, the tenant should do the following:

  • Written notice should be provided to the landlord that state the desire to break the lease because of domestic violence.
  • The notice should be given 30 days prior to the desired date of termination. Some states may require more than 30 days of notice.
  • Tenant is only responsible for paying rent until the date of lease termination.

In addition to this, the landlord is having the right to request proof of domestic violence. The tenant has to provide a copy of an order of protection or a police report which documented the incident.

Hope now you are aware of all the five conditions in which a tenant can break the rental lease legally. Furthermore, if you are looking for the professional property managers to take care of your property, then you should contact Real property management associates to end all your worries.

For property management services, you can call us at (508) 509-4485.

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