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Return keys to landlord before lease termination

Boston, MA |


I recently broke my lease with two months remaining. I gave 2 months notice to the landlord and he declined my offer to enlsit a real estate agent to find a new tenant. The landlord decided to renovate the apartment. I took this as releasing my obligation of the last two months rent. The landlord asked for the last two months rent after our move out and returing of the keys. He is expecteing us to pay rent on a unit that he his renovating and we have no access to. Is this legal? I would think that the condition of the lease is that the renter has access to the unit...When I mentioned to the landlord I would pay the two months if I can have the keys back and move back in. He mentioned I cannot move in as renovations have started

Attorney Answers 2


In order for him to collect rent you would need to have access to the unit. As he declined your proposed modification you maintain your interest in the property until the lease expires and if he let it sit vacant then you could be liable for missed rent. However if his actions have made the unit uninhabitable you should be in the clear as he would have violated his duty to you as a tenant.

If you are in Massachusetts, my answering of your question does not constitute an attorney/client relationship and are for informational purposes only. If you wish to contact me to discuss your question further I offer a 30 minute free consultation and can be reached at 413-522-6263. If you are not in Massachusetts I am not giving you legal advice as I am not licensed in your state and my comments should be viewed as for informational purposes only.

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Generally you are correct. You cannot be held liable for rent for an apartment which is not habitable.

Do you want accurate, personalized, legal advice that you can rely on? You will have to hire an attorney, not ask on Avvo. I am not your attorney and am not creating an attorney-client relationship by this post. I am therefore giving only general advice. This advice may not apply to you or your situation; may not take account of all possibilities, and may not match the advice I would give to a client. DO NOT rely on this advice or any other advice on Avvo to make your legal decisions. If you want an answer to a legal question you should retain an attorney who is licensed in your state.

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