(Closed) Breaking a lease due to misrepresentation?

posted 6 years ago in Married Life
Post # 4
Member
10288 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2011

I foresee you having a difficult time getting out of your lease. Your landlords have your signature agreeing to rent from them for 1 year so they’ll probably hold you to do. Sometimes you can get out of your lease if you can find someone to sublet the unit but that’s a big IF. Some complexes allow this and others don’t. Mine doesn’t but I also live in a “luxury condo community” and have to deal with a corporate office and all that crap. I’d check your lease to see if it says anything about subletting.

As for your witness, Mom probably isn’t the best person to have defending you. You can get Mom to say about anything and most people realize that. 

Post # 5
Member
1026 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

You should be able to find a HUD office near you. (Housing and urban development) One of the things they do is help protect renters rights.  You should be able to go in or call and explain your problem to them, and they can give you a good idea of whether or not you can be held to the lease. If it is something they think you should be let out of, they may help you contact your landlord and avoid small claims court.  

Post # 6
Member
1902 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: August 2014

I see one major issue with your claim. You said the woman told you “we don’t like to rent to smokers”. That is NOT the same as “smoking isn’t allowed here”. YOUR lease might have a non smoking rider, but that doesn’t mean your neighbors have one. It’s frustrating they didn’t tell you about the neighbor being grandfathered in, but unless they were legally obligated to do so, not doing it does not mean they misrepresented to you. 

I would put all legalities aside and discuss this with the manager and/or owner of the building and ASK NICELY to be let out of your lease. You might need to pay a penalty, but assuming they can find someone else to rent asap, I don’t see why they wouldn’t let you if you explain about your husband’s allergies. The key, though, is to be nice, and not to accuse them of misrepresentation. Offer to continue paying rent until they can find someone else in the apartment (since after all, you are legally obligated to do this anyways). Let’s face it, it doesn’t make financial sense for either one of you to go to court over this, even small claims court takes time and money. 

That being said, I’ve had similar issues with being able to smell smoke from the neighbors in my apartment and it’s the WORST. Never gotten to the point where I need to move, but I feel your pain. 

 

Post # 7
Member
1029 posts
Bumble bee

A similar thing happened with my apartment building. It’s a victorian farmhouse that was converted into apartments and I absolutely love it. The first time my landlord showed it to me, he said “I don’t allow smoking and I don’t allow pets” and I thought, “Great, because I don’t smoke and I don’t have any.” The foyer had a slight odor of cigarette smoke but I thought it was just because the building was so old.

It turns out, the woman above me not only smokes like a chimney, but also has a cat. She apparently owned the building before my landlord and has lived there for 20 years. She’s one of those “cat ladies” that seems a little kooky, but keeps to herself. It irks me a little that my landlord never told me this, but there isn’t really anything I can do about it. Luckily, the smell doesn’t seep into my apartment, but my SO does have to hold his breath everytime we’re in the foyer. If it’s to the point where your husband is physically ill, I think you do have a case. If she wants to go to court, go to court. It’s worth a shot. Just try to get all the physical evidence you can, as well as the signed paperwork. Good luck!

 

Post # 8
Member
13099 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: July 2010

@Krises:  “I see one major issue with your claim. You said the woman told you “we don’t like to rent to smokers”. That is NOT the same as “smoking isn’t allowed here”. YOUR lease might have a non smoking rider, but that doesn’t mean your neighbors have one. It’s frustrating they didn’t tell you about the neighbor being grandfathered in, but unless they were legally obligated to do so, not doing it does not mean they misrepresented to you.”

I totally agree with this.  While it sucks that not everyone in the complex has a non-smoking rider on their lease, I don’t see anywhere where the complex misrepresented anything to you.

They hold a document where you agreed to pay them for a year and I really don’t see anything you have to fight that.  It sucks though but that’s just the way life goes sometimes.

Post # 10
Member
2065 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: December 2011

Could they be in the process of switching everyone to the new policy? Like maybe every time a unit comes up for renewal, they add in the new addendum. If they decided to make this switch to no smoking in the middle of people’s leases, they can’t just declare the property no smoking and kick everyone out that is caught smoking that signed leases BEFORE the no smoking clause hit. It’d be like deciding the place was pet-free after it used to be pet-friendly. They have to wait until the tenant’s lease is up to make changes to it. Then if people don’t like it, they move to a pet friendly place.

Post # 11
Member
4465 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: June 2010

@misspeanut:  I was thinking the same thing.  I lived in a building that was pet friendly, but was in the process of changing to cats-only.  We had to sign a rider, but anyone else who was already living there with a dog was allowed to keep it.

OP — I think by “the property” they could mean your unit only.  Also, did you not notice the smell/smokers when you were viewing the apartment?

Post # 12
Member
3265 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: February 2014

If you talk to the local HUD office, they may be able to help you out since it’s not just that you don’t care for it, but your husband has medical issues with all the smoke. It’s worth a shot at least.

Post # 13
Member
13099 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: July 2010

@misspeanut:  I agree.  With people being “grandfathered” in, it sounds like they are in the middle of a transition and therefore can’t just change the policy on everyone until their leases are up for renewal.  But that doesn’t mean they can’t hold new people to the rules and policies they’ve updated.

Post # 14
Member
6215 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: August 2013 - The Liberty House

If they are smoking pot, i would call the cops on them.

Post # 15
Member
10367 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2010

Why not just find someone to take over your lease? Most places will let you break your lease with no penalty if you have another tenant lined up. I’ve done this in the past! We worked with the landlord/helped them advertise and then made sure we were very flexible with showings, etc.

I think it would be the better, less aggressive route to do it that way vs invoking legal rights with regards to the smoking.

Post # 16
Member
752 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

+1 on calling cops. 

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