My husband is active duty military and we recently moved to Tampa, Fl. We signed the lease for the property on a "sight unseen" basis. We are really regretting that decision. I researched the neighborhood and found nothing online to suggest it was a bad place, but when we arrived we realized the area is awful and I fear for the safety of my child and my belongings. There is a detached two car garage which was a major selling point for us, however there are huge holes in the roof that prevents us from using it. I know the service members relief act will let us end our lease if my husbands picks up new orders but new orders aren't happening anytime soon. Is there a way for me to legally break the lease without presenting new orders? Would the roof count as substandard living conditions?
You cannot break the lease simply by virtue of it being a bad neighborhood as the court will say you took the home sigh unseen and the LL has no duty to disclose crime reports, etc. to you. The only way you could move out would be based on a theory of constructive eviction.
Problems with the home, however, are a basis for breaking a lease. You must follow strict procedures in order to break a lease, including giving the LL an opportunity to cure.
Contact a local attorney asap.
Note: The information presented at this site should not be construed to be formal legal advice nor the formation of a lawyer/client relationship.
You can first try to negotiate with the landlord. If the landlord agrees you can write up a mutual lease termination agreement and you will be out of the lease. Make sure you get it signed and in WRITING so the landlord cannot come after you later. You may also could provide some incentive by "buying out" the lease, that is, giving the landlord an offer of money, perhaps one months extra rent to let you out early.
If that does not work, you should send the landlord a letter in WRITING demanding that within 7 days that he repair the roof of the garage. The garage is currently of no use to you so you are not getting what you bargained for, and could seek a reduced rent. Sometimes if you take these steps the landlord might become tired of you and let you out by mutual agreement. If the landlord does not make the repairs in 7 days you can perhaps use that to terminate the lease. Call a local landlord tenant lawyer to help you.
Attorney answers to questions are for general purposes only and do not establish an attorney-client relationship. The hiring of an attorney is an important decision that should not be based solely upon advertisements. Before you decide, ask us to send you free written information about our qualifications and experience. Landlord/Tenant, Appellate and Criminal Defense. Robert Devin, Esq. (954) 647-5927, 200 SE 6th St., Suite 603, Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33301 email@example.com