Getting out of a rental lease???

  1. Hi everyone,
    We moved into this house that looked nice on the surface. We signed a years lease. Well, after being here (2 months now), all this stuff started surfacing.
    1) It has floors that do not meet walls, so outhouse like odors come up from between. This was discovered when we kept smelling something. The cabinets had been installed right over these big holes/gaps.
    2) The water makes us sick if we drink it. The health department says it is not the water itself, but the pipes that is causing it to be bad water.
    3) The sump pump, when it works, pushes fumes amd water up through the drains when it kicks on.
    4) The roof in the kitchen leaks alot. There is now a part in the kitchen, that is bowed and will soon fall. The landlord was to have it fixed over a month ago, but never has.
    5) The furnace does not work correctly. We have to get up 4 and5 times a night to take a panel off, push the reset button, so it will blow out warm air instead of cold.
    6) One night, we were sitting, watching TV,we had the furnace going and the clothes dryer going, plus a few lights on. We see the one light go off, the dryer stops, and we hear cracking. Well, turns out, they have 255 amps hooked up to a 100 amp box!!! One of the main amps was actually burning!!!
    My husband looks for the mainshut off breaker.... THERE IS NONE!!!!
    So, the wires in the wall could have been burning, and we could have had a major fire, or worse!!!
    7) No insulation in the house.
    8) No phone hookups... we had to pay to have phone hookups.
    9) My kids have had one illness right after the other since being here.
    10) Too many other things to mention!!!

    We were promised that an electrician would be here to fix the electric problem..... never has been here! We were told that someone would be here to fix the roof, fix the leaks, fix everything.... never has happened!!!!
    We have spent close to $500 of our own money so we could live a little comfortable.
    What can we do??? The landlord won't do as promised, the house stinks, my kids are sick all the time, and we hate this house!!!
    How do we get out of this lease????
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  2. 11 Comments

  3. by   Marie_LPN, RN
    I smell slumlord. And it sounds to me that place isn't even up to building code!

    When i saw my apartment, it needed new paint and new carpet, not to mention a window needed fixed. My landlord offered me the lease to sign early, and he had drawn up an extra part that stated he would make the repairs, and listed them specifically.

    Document every single time you've reported these problems and take him to court. And i would sue for at least the deposit paid and the $500 of your own money that you spent on the repairs.
  4. by   Nurse Ratched
    First, put your complaints and requests for repairs in writing to your landlord. Make sure and note something to the effect of, "As we discussed on (date), I am having the following issues with our house:____________ I am still awaiting repairs as you indicated you would provide. Please advise when these repairs will be performed, as the house is unacceptable and not in compliance with our lease agreement (assuming lease indicated he would provide x, y, and z in exchange for rent.) I appreciate your attention to this matter by (date.)

    Next, do you have a local tenants' organization? Since mine is a college town, renting issues are huge and there is a dept of the local gov't to insure everyone behaves lol. Call your local gov't office and ask who you should speak to about lease breaking should he not respond to your letter.

    Good luck!
  5. by   unknown99
    Quote from Nurse Ratched
    First, put your complaints and requests for repairs in writing to your landlord. Make sure and note something to the effect of, "As we discussed on (date), I am having the following issues with our house:____________ I am still awaiting repairs as you indicated you would provide. Please advise when these repairs will be performed, as the house is unacceptable and not in compliance with our lease agreement (assuming lease indicated he would provide x, y, and z in exchange for rent.) I appreciate your attention to this matter by (date.)

    Next, do you have a local tenants' organization? Since mine is a college town, renting issues are huge and there is a dept of the local gov't to insure everyone behaves lol. Call your local gov't office and ask who you should speak to about lease breaking should he not respond to your letter.

    Good luck!
    Hello,
    Thank you for you advice. I did put most of these things in writing, and gave it to her a month ago. The electric thing just came up in the past 2 weeks. We notified her right away. She sent her step-dad and drunk grandfather over to look at it the next day. All they did was scratch their head and said "Yup. You need a new breaker." My husband is an electrician, but he cannot work on residential property, because he is only certified for factory/ plant operations. She told him that if he did it she would take some off the rent. He told her no, because he could lose his certification for working on a residential property, for which the local power company has not certified him.
    She then responded with the fact that she would have an electrician out here the next day. That was 2 weeks ago!! No one has been here yet!
    I will contact the building inspector and the health department tomorrow... they close in 10 minutes.
    Again, thank you for your advice!!!
    And Marie, she is a slum lord!!!! I did not know that until after all this! Thank you for caring!!
  6. by   Marie_LPN, RN
    This house is affecting your health. Definately need to move out, BUT, you need help to get this place condemned, to keep someone else from going through this.
  7. by   unknown99
    Quote from Marie_LPN
    This house is affecting your health. Definately need to move out, BUT, you need help to get this place condemned, to keep someone else from going through this.
    100% agree with you!! My husband and I have talked about that! When we looked at it, they had just remodeled, and everything looked nice. But, as you have read, looks can be very deceiving!!
  8. by   saskrn
    Quote from sagarcia210
    Hi everyone,
    We moved into this house that looked nice on the surface. We signed a years lease. Well, after being here (2 months now), all this stuff started surfacing.
    1) It has floors that do not meet walls, so outhouse like odors come up from between. This was discovered when we kept smelling something. The cabinets had been installed right over these big holes/gaps.
    2) The water makes us sick if we drink it. The health department says it is not the water itself, but the pipes that is causing it to be bad water.
    3) The sump pump, when it works, pushes fumes amd water up through the drains when it kicks on.
    4) The roof in the kitchen leaks alot. There is now a part in the kitchen, that is bowed and will soon fall. The landlord was to have it fixed over a month ago, but never has.
    5) The furnace does not work correctly. We have to get up 4 and5 times a night to take a panel off, push the reset button, so it will blow out warm air instead of cold.
    6) One night, we were sitting, watching TV,we had the furnace going and the clothes dryer going, plus a few lights on. We see the one light go off, the dryer stops, and we hear cracking. Well, turns out, they have 255 amps hooked up to a 100 amp box!!! One of the main amps was actually burning!!!
    My husband looks for the mainshut off breaker.... THERE IS NONE!!!!
    So, the wires in the wall could have been burning, and we could have had a major fire, or worse!!!
    7) No insulation in the house.
    8) No phone hookups... we had to pay to have phone hookups.
    9) My kids have had one illness right after the other since being here.
    10) Too many other things to mention!!!

    We were promised that an electrician would be here to fix the electric problem..... never has been here! We were told that someone would be here to fix the roof, fix the leaks, fix everything.... never has happened!!!!
    We have spent close to $500 of our own money so we could live a little comfortable.
    What can we do??? The landlord won't do as promised, the house stinks, my kids are sick all the time, and we hate this house!!!
    How do we get out of this lease????
    Pi$$ off the landlord enough so he'll KICK you out. Then it's his decision to break the lease.
  9. by   unknown99
    Quote from saskrn
    Pi$$ off the landlord enough so he'll KICK you out. Then it's his decision to break the lease.
    :chuckle :chuckle :chuckle :chuckle :chuckle
    I like that idea ALOT!!!!!
  10. by   dphrn
    We have a house we lease to tenants in Illinois, we must have a yearly "occupancy inspection" done by the county. Many of the things you listed are things that are checked during the inspection. If it is not up to code, we can not have tenants in the house. The repairs must be done and then re-inspected before we can put tenants in the house.

    I would call your county office and see if this house has been inspected for leasing purposes, and if it has, have these things been addressed on the inspection. If not, you may have grounds to break the lease...and fast!

    Good luck, I know this must be very frustrating!
  11. by   unknown99
    Quote from dphrn
    We have a house we lease to tenants in Illinois, we must have a yearly "occupancy inspection" done by the county. Many of the things you listed are things that are checked during the inspection. If it is not up to code, we can not have tenants in the house. The repairs must be done and then re-inspected before we can put tenants in the house.

    I would call your county office and see if this house has been inspected for leasing purposes, and if it has, have these things been addressed on the inspection. If not, you may have grounds to break the lease...and fast!

    Good luck, I know this must be very frustrating!
    Thank you so much for the valuable info!! I am pretty sure that it was not inspected for leasing purposes. The landlord is purchasing the house through a land contract. I am going to the county office tomorrow !
  12. by   Spidey's mom
    We have a fair housing board in California. They were very helpful to me at one time when I was a renter. No charge either.

    steph
  13. by   H ynnoD
    Fresno has a City Office that deals with stuff like this.Look in the Phone book under your city listings,they might have one too.

    Where we just moved to has 24 hour maintance.Thay are good.My wife called them at 12:30 am,because she clogged up the sink and they were right over.I've been making friends with most of the maintance men also,which also has many other benefits

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