Moving In The Middle Of A Lease – Breaking Your Lease

Breaking Your Lease

Normally, you cannot move out in the middle of a lease. You signed it, so you are bound by it, just as the landlord is. You cannot simply “break” a lease. There are exceptions however, such as when the landlord has breached the lease.

The tenant may break the lease if the landlord has breached the terms of the lease in some important and material way, for example, if the landlord has failed to provide the tenant with the “quite enjoyment” of the tenants property, fails to provide a habitable premise, refuses to make essential repairs such as providing running water, heat or gas. Under these circumstances, the lease may be rescineded by the non-breaching tenant and the tenant may even be able to sue and collect damages from the landlord’s wrongful conduct.

In many states, the tenant can move out in the middle of the lease if the unit is infested with vermin or dangerous mold or other conditions that violate the state’s Health and Safety Codes. Sometimes this is referred to as “constructive eviction” meaning that the landlord, for all practical purposes, has already “evicted” the tenant by failing to provide a safe and habitable premise.

You may also consider that your landlord has breached the lease if he repeatedly violates your right to privacy, or does things like removing windows or doors, turning off your utilities, or changing the locks.

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