Our landlord has locked us out of the crawl space where the AC/Heat Unit and the pilot light for the heat are located. He refuses to give us a key for the crawl space making it impossible to have simple tasks completed (like getting heat or AC checked/turned on/off). Our landlord also has the breaker/fuse box locked and refuses to give us a key to that as well. He does not have a cell phone so when the heat doesn't work, or the power shuts off, for example, we have to track him down by leaving messages at his job and/or at his parents house. He also refuses to have a phone landline in the house making it impossible for us to have affordable internet (there is only 1 company in our area that can install internet without a landline). Are any of these legal ways to break a lease?
It is certainly possible that the inability to address the heating/ac and/or electrical systems would be a breach of the lease and entitle you to end your relationship. Is the lease in writing? If so, the lease may speak to these issues. If the lease is silent and you truly want to end the lease, you can sue to have the lease terminated or advise the landlord you are terminating the lease for his failure to provide habitable property. If you choose to tell the landlord you are leaving, be sure to provide a reasonable notice (at least 10 days and preferable 30 days - again, your lease may speak to the required notice) and advise the landlord when you will leave the property. Be prepared to be sued for rent due under the lease, if you choose this route.
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