My daughter moved into a house three months ago. Landlord was to do walk through before lease signing, which has not been done. She wants to move out due to reported constant water problems, no hot water on occasions, no blinds on the windows, no bedroom door, outside door not sealed well, and other issues. He says he will not return deposit and will charge her two months rent for moving out without 30 day notice, even though there is no signed lease. I don't see that he has any basis, due to negligence on his part. She has actually made improvements by adding blinds to the windows.
Since there is no lease in effect, your daughter can surrender her tenancy by giving her landlord 30 days' written notice. She should send the original letter to the landlord by certified mail and an additional copy by first class mail with certificate of mailing. She may proceed to move out without penalty after 30 days. After she moves out she should request that the landlord return her security deposit by sending another letter in the same manner. If the landlord does not return her security deposit she should sue to recover it in your local small claims court.
The above constitutes general information only and should not be considered legal advice.
Your daughter has a month to month tenancy which she can end on thirty days written notice to the landlord. The landlord can not hold the security except to make repairs to the premises for damage cause by your daughter's tenancy. She should take photographs of the premises as they exist and as they exist at the time she moves out. She can recover her security through a small claims action after she vacates. She may also have grounds for withholding rent or for getting a partial abatement of rent for breach of the warranty of habitability. Again she should document the condition of the apartment and each instance where she has no hot water. She must notify the landlord in writing for each item and each time there is no hot water or anything else the renders the premises uninhabitable or dangerous. In the meantime she should file complaints with the local building department and hire an attorney to send a letter to the landlord demanding that the damages be addressed. She can pay the rent into escrow with the attorney and claim breach of the warranty of habitability as an offset to the amount of rent she would owe.
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