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TenantNet Forum Archives 1996-2002
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Re: Breaking our lease

Posted by TenantNet on November 10, 1996 at 01:40:14:

In Reply to: Breaking our lease posted by Anonymous on November 09, 1996 at 22:46:45:

: We've just recently moved to a new apartment. We signed a one year lease and a handyman agreement, where we have
: the option to work 8 hours per month for and $80.00 discount on our rent. The problem is that the apartment needs
: way much more work than we realized. There are safety hazards and plenty of items not up to current codes. The boiler
: emits an intense unbearable oil smell. From what we understand this is due to low efficiency and possible carbon monoxide.
: The upstairs tenants told us the town has shut down the boiler several times in the middle of winter.
: We've found live wires in ceiling lights while changing light bulbs. We're scared and we want out.
: We live in NJ(Bergen Cty)and were wondering if anyone knows what we would be liable for if we break our lease. If it is simply
: our security deposit we are willing to lose it to move to a safer place. Can the landlord (slumlord) sue us for unpaid rent for the
: term of the lease. I can't imagine anyone else being as foolish as we were and take this apartment(very low rent in a nice neighborhood.)
: Any advice would be greatly appreciated (and hopefully soon.)
: (does anyone actually man this board, there are so many unanswered questions.

We'll answer your second question first. Yes, we man this board. But it is
not and was not intended to be just a Q&A. It's a forum where we seek and
expect other tenants to jump in and contribute ideas. We cannot possibly
answer every question that's posed.

As for your dilemma, you might wish to search previous messages. The owner
can seek rent for the unexpired term of the lease. If there were
misrepresentations on his part, or if he breached the lease, that might get you
out from the obligation if you seek to leave and if he desires to pursue
you. Be prepared to prove your allegations and that he failed to make
repairs. Also, in some areas, owners are required to mitigate their
damages by tryig to rerent the unit. If he does not make a good faith
effort to rerent the place, then your obligation might be waived.

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