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Do I have legal grounds to break lease on negligent apartments

Discussion in 'Moving In & Out, Movers' started by NeedToGetOutOfMyLease, Aug 19, 2019.

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  1. NeedToGetOutOfMyLease

    NeedToGetOutOfMyLease Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Jurisdiction:
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    Hi,

    I live in Dallas TX

    I signed a lease for an apartment on the 27th of July. This is my second time renting an apartment I should have seen the apartment before signing for it. They showed me a model of how mine was suppose to look and I got sold. They told me that there was a leak with it so they couldn't show it to me at the moment but if I came back within a couple days I could get the keys for it. On August 6th I go back and I get the keys for it. I was in horror when I saw it. Not ready at all, roaches everywhere, stove was not setup right, bathtub not working etc etc.

    I got back on August 7th. They tell me theyre really sorry, they didn't know the apartment was like that so they offer me a better one with new appliances, new ac, new floor, and a little bit bigger. I did check that one out and yes it did looks better, didn't see any roaches, it looked good from what I could tell, that is until they gave me the inventory sheet to put down all the things wrong with it. I sign the lease for it. I noticed that the new lease says it is signed on August 7th 2019. But it still says the start date of this lease is on July 27th (the day I signed for the last apartment).


    Anyways I inspect the apartment better, and I noticed that the window in the room does not fully lock, the kitchen window does not even have a lock, and the window by the living room doesnt open. There appeared to be mold by the kitchen, the toilet did not flush, there was no water coming out of the bathroom sink, some of the electrical outlets did not have power coming to them, there was also a small hole on the wall behind the toilet. I turned in my inventory sheet on August 9th, went over it with one of the assistant managers, and told them about the things I wanted repaired. Especially the toilet, and the windows. It is now 8/19 almost 3 weeks have passed, and although they have fixed most things. The mold is still in the kitchen, the kitchen window still does not have a lock, the living room window still does not open, and there have been roaches coming out of the hole that was behind the toilet still not covered up. On 8/16 I went and complained to the manager that I did not want to move into that apartment due to unfixed repairs and that I did not feel safe with the windows being in that condition. She told me that that was not enough for me not to move into the apartment and that if I wanted to get out, I had to put in a 60 day notice. Her, myself, an assistant manager, and a maintenance man went to check out my apartment which I have not moved into, so that they could see the needed repairs. The maintenance guy kept acting defensive throughout this whole thing. Saying it wasn't his fault blah blah. I never once blamed him. We all leave the apartment at the same time and I lock the door. I then head towards my truck to drive away, and as Im leaving the maintenance guy stops me and pretty much tells me that even if I complain to the city that they are not going to side with me. I tell him my issue is not with him.


    On August 8/17, I go back to the apartment with my girlfriend and as soon as I put my key in it seemed liked it was not locked. I go inside and the screen cover for the window in the kitchen was half off, it seemed like someone had went inside the kitchen through it. They spit in the kitchen sink really nasty. They pissed on the toilet and did not flush it. They also threw trash all over the bedroom. I notified the assistant managers and they called the police to report a break in. The police made a report but did not make it as a break in because there was no visible signs of entrée. This to me seemed retaliatory, what a coincidence that after I complaint and say I do not want to move in, that all of a sudden this happens. He did report only $10 worth of things missing (management gave me a gift basket that was in the apartment). He also said infront of the apartment management that he has received calls from the same apartment complex about maintenance people breaking and stealing peoples things. Today August 8/19 I sent a letter to the apartment complex through certified mail. Describing all the events that have happened, and all things that have still not been fixed, which are the reasons I have not moved into the apartment.


    Can I terminate my lease? I do not feel safe there, there are roaches coming out of holes, mold in the kitchen, a break in attempt happened. What can I do?


    Also I have pictures and video recordings of the conditions of the apartment from the start till now
     
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2019
  2. Michael Wechsler

    Michael Wechsler Administrator Staff Member

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    Did you also include how your lease was not supposed to begin until August 7th since the apartment was not ready on the first day of the lease and that you had not received keys to any unit until August 7? Did you provide them with a security deposit?

    It's impossible to tell you yes/no as to your rights and outcome, which will be determined by a court should you get there. Understand that our discussion here is not legal advice, there hasn't been a proper legal consultation. This is only a surface level discussion based upon what you've represented.

    Others may have a different opinion. But I think it is certainly arguable that the apartment was not provided in a habitable condition. The landlord couldn't and didn't deliver the premises in a timely fashion not once but twice. I doubt that any landlord would spend money on a landlord-tenant lawyer to enforce a lease where the tenant never moved in as a direct result of the landlord's inability to deliver the premises in a habitable or a condition reasonably as represented to the tenant. I'm wondering about the security deposit that is customarily provided with signing of the lease.
     
    NeedToGetOutOfMyLease likes this.
  3. NeedToGetOutOfMyLease

    NeedToGetOutOfMyLease Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Thank you very much for responding. I did not include that in the letter. On the front page of the lease it has that error it shows the 2 dates. Signed on 8/7 and then a couple sentences down it says this lease begins on the 27th of July.

    I did not provide a security deposit. They told me I didn’t have to, and they even took $300 off the first months rent. Which I already paid on July 27th for the first apartment. Then on August 7th when I signed for the second one the rent for the second apartment did increase by $80 but before signing I asked them, is this going to go down as if I already payed the rent? And they told me yes. They never charged me extra for this months rent.

    I have the receipt of a money order that I used to pay for the first months rent already. Could I get my rent money back and the application fee? Which I payed $125 for?

    Thank you very much
     
  4. mightymoose

    mightymoose Moderator

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    You can certainly ask for your money back, but that usually is met with resistance.
    Any request you make should be done in writing and clearly explain the reasons why you are making the request.
    Ask for a response in writing with a check for whatever amount you believe should be returned. If at this point you have no intention of moving in you might also return the keys.
    The landlord may find it easier to simply let you go and get another renter than go through the hassle that is pending over this apartment.
     
    Michael Wechsler likes this.

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