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landlord lease breach issue

Discussion in 'Other Residential Landlord & Tenant Issues' started by meatdrapez, Mar 6, 2022.

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  1. meatdrapez

    meatdrapez Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Jurisdiction:
    South Dakota
    i was moving to a new state for a job on short notice and found a listing on zillow for rent in the area which was the only one available originally listed available on 3/1 however i spoke with the landlord and they said they could have it ready a couple days early on 2/27 which was great cause i was supposed to start work on 2/28. however when i got there it was in an uninhabitable condition. Following reasons being: Broken appliances, damaged door latches, damaged door locks, broken door frames by lock, damaged garage door, exposed wires, uncovered electrical outlets, uncovered light switches, broken window, exposed wires, damaged smoke alarms, mildew, black mold on structural supports in the basement, carpet stains, holes in walls and ceilings, sink pulled from wall in upstairs bathroom, as well as landlord not even hiring cleaners prior to move in among other things. Unit was not cleaned or maintained by landlord prior to the agreed move in date.

    https:imgur.com/a/NvWI7mN

    i notified the land lord when i got there of the condition and refused to physically move in and refused to negotiate and informed them about a breach in the agreement and im not quite sure how to proceed here. ive given them a few days to try and come up with a solution and missed my work start date by not having a place to stay there. im not seeking damages for lost wages. but should i send them a notice to end lease as i did not move into the location, or should i send them a notice of a breach of the lease agreement as they have not responded to my inquiries in a few days?
     
  2. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    Based solely upon your recitation of events, it appears that you broke the lease.

    Apparently you signed a lease, paid money, WITHOUT actually doing a walk through of the unit.

    By signing and paying for the unseen unit, you obligated yourself to pay $XXXX for YY months.

    Your simplest remedy, to avoid greater financial pain, is to ask the landlord how much it would cost you to legally break the lease.

    Barring a WRITTEN agreement to pay $ZZZ to the landlord, you'll probably be evicted and sued for monetary damages.

    An eviction can cause you great pain for decades.
     
  3. meatdrapez

    meatdrapez Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Apartment Not Ready on Move-In Date: What Now? - FindLaw

    If the Apartment Isn't Ready
    If you show up to your new apartment building on move-in day and the apartment is not yet ready, you have a handful of options. You can:

    • Ask the landlord if there is another apartment you can stay in until your apartment is ready
    • Ask the landlord if there is another apartment into which you can move instead of the apartment that is not ready
    • If you are willing to wait until the apartment is available, ask if the landlord will cover the cost of your hotel, moving truck, etc.
    • Break the lease; you do not owe the landlord anything until you physically move in
    Breaking a Lease
    If the lease you signed had a specified move-in time and the landlord failed to have the apartment ready by that time, the landlord has breached the lease agreement and you can demand the landlord give back any money you may have paid.

    so how should i proceed
     
  4. meatdrapez

    meatdrapez Law Topic Starter New Member

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    . Tenants have a right to a property that is habitable. This is legally referred to as an “implied warranty of habitability.”
     
  5. justblue

    justblue Well-Known Member

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    Do you have pictures/video of the apartment (dated) from the day you were supposed to move in?
     
  6. meatdrapez

    meatdrapez Law Topic Starter New Member

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    yes in the original post
    https:imgur.com/a/NvWI7mN
    that was they agreed move in day and they took no steps to have it ready on the agreed date, theres metadata on the images i took on my phone with the date. i have not contacted a lawyer yet as im giving them a few days to resolve the issue i did notify them that this was a breach of the lease agreement over text message and wanted to break the lease and receive my deposit back. but im unsure if i should send a written breach of contract notice or a notice to break the lease.
     
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2022
  7. justblue

    justblue Well-Known Member

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    I looked over the pictures...I don't know that I would call it "uninhabitable" but it is a real dump. I wouldn't live there. If I were you I would have an attorney specializing in LL/Tenant law review the pic's, lease and any communications you have between you and the LL. See what he advises.
     
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  8. meatdrapez

    meatdrapez Law Topic Starter New Member

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    its in the first post if you need more information on habitability all of those items listed are on the habitability list, health safety, security protection from elements. toxic mold, wires damage, door locks, broken windows and door latches. also free from needing major renovation.
     
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2022
  9. justblue

    justblue Well-Known Member

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    My advice still stands...take everything you have to an attorney. They will advise you on your options/rights.
    Home - State Bar of South Dakota


    Tenant Rights, Laws, and Protections: South Dakota
     
  10. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    Stands to reason that if they aren't responding to your texts you send a demand letter, certified and regular mail.

    Better yet, if you are still in the area, personally visit the person with whom you contracted.

    Chances are, however, is that they are slumlords and won't give you back any money without litigation. Even then maybe not.

    All the "rights" in the world won't get you a nickel back from deadbeat scammers.
     
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  11. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    No one forced you to sign the lease to something you hadn't seen.

    You were ripe for picking.

    You were desperate.

    As you revealed, you needed housing to perform your new job.

    You CHOSE to sign the lease and fork over the tribute demanded by the slum lord.

    Your remedies are few, mate, maybe none.

    As suggested, talk to a lawyer, tell local TV stations, the local newspaper; perhaps the slumlord might wish to avoid bad press.

    You put yourself behind the 8 ball.

    Now you must attempt to get away and limit your further harm.

    In the future, never sign a lease until you personally conducted a walk through of the unit. Which also implies, don't fork over your cash until you've eyeballed and inspected the unit.
     
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  12. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    That bears repeating, so I'm repeating it.

    In the future, never sign a lease until you personally conducted a walkthrough of the unit. Which also implies, don't fork over your cash until you've eyeballed and inspected the unit.
     
  13. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    Give a scammer and slumlord your loot, its doubtful you'll see all or even some of it, again!

    Scammers don't care a whit about your rights, just your loot that instantly becomes his or hers the instant you fork it over into her/his greedy paw!!!
     

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