I'm a tenant who wants to break a lease agreement due to electrical shorts, water damage with mold, and holes in the roof. My husband and I kept asking for the roof to be fixed since we moved in. The landlord kept saying next month, and when next month came he gave us excuses. The water damage is from when the roof leaked and now there is more water damage to a wall next to our fridge that has mold on it. We cannot use our living room light due to water damage near the light and due to an electrical short in the fixture/wiring. There is also an electrical short in an outlet in my daughter's room that hasn't been fixed. The landlord said if we move out, then he will take legal action against us. It feels as though we are being forced to stay here out of fear of recourse from him. What do we do?
First, don’t use the phrase “break a lease,” because that suggested “breach of a lease.” Unless you and the landlord can’t agree in writing to a mutual termination of the lease, the safest approach would be to sue for a declaratory judgment that the landlord has breached the lease such that you are entitled to a remedy of termination. But make sure the lease doesn’t have a provision that would require you to pay your landlord’s attorney fees if you lose.
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