May I break a Missouri home rental lease agreement for any of these reasons? (written in a format to the landlord):

1) The property was not made habitable before I moved in due to dangerous chiggers in tall weeds close to the house, dead mouse inside, mailbox or assigned address. 2) There was no contract requirement until after I moved in, in which case I had to sign under duress to have a place to live. 3) You failed to notify me that there is asbestos in siding, insulation and lead paint. 4) You have not provided a smoke alarm, CO2 detector or a fire extinguisher. 5) You require me to pay all the expense of heating & cooling the entire house an unreasonable temperature even for rooms I don't use. 6) The driveway is too steep and dangerous for my car if any precipitation. 7) Too much furniture causing danger as I broke a toe navigating through it.

Kansas City, MO -

Attorney Answers (1)

Leonard Komen

Leonard Komen

Commercial Real Estate Attorney - Saint Louis, MO
Answered

"Duress" is defined with a far greater burden than you have proposed and it extremely doubtful you will be able to avoid the contract with that defense. Had you signed it before you moved in, you might have had a better case.
There may well be a clause in the contract that says you have inspected the premises and accept them in their current condition. If so, that again will make it difficult for you.

Having said that, Missouri's defense under a case called "King v Moorehead" may help you - showing that the place is uninhabitable. To take advantage of that ,you have to pay the rent into court pending the outcome.

The bottom line is that no attorney can give you a complete picture without seeing what you signed and you need to see an attorney about that right away before you next pay any rent.

This comment does not create an attorney-client relationship. The law and its application by the courts is... more

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