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Would any of these be a valid reason to break a lease without fees?

Discussion in 'Other Residential Landlord & Tenant Issues' started by John Sartain, Oct 23, 2019.

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  1. John Sartain

    John Sartain Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Jurisdiction:
    Iowa
    Here's a link to the burnt unit: https://photos.app.goo.gl/cei4WagEQ7rJi5EeA

    Live in Urbandale, Iowa.

    Currently in 12 month lease, ending in February 2020

    Current situation is that I don't feel safe in my residence. Both me and my girlfriend's car have been broken into. Half of our building has burnt down. The burnt down portion is not s[​IMG]ecure allowing people to enter. A person could enter through the burnt down portion, find their way into our attic, and drop in on us during the night. I have asked a few times for them to keep that door locked and shut at all times however it is constantly open and I have photos of every time I catch it open. when the fire happened we were told to use our insurance to cover a stay in a hotel, even though the fire was not our fault.

    There is no insulation in the ceiling as someone would typically expect in our extremely hot and cold climate. It took them 28 days to install insulation is that considered a reasonable amount of time?

    On a few occasions they have made unannounced entrances to our unit. Sometimes they fail to announce a 24-hour notice before entry.

    Our lease has several clauses, including buyouts, damage, fire, and other conditions of early termination. does it seem like any of the above would be valid reasons to get out of the lease without payment?

    I have also lost my job for several months now would that be worth mentioning to assist them in deciding to get me off the lease?

    They have always threatened with eviction for ridiculous reasons. one time there was a smell in the hallway and I was served at the notice I'd be evicted unless I correct it that smell. I responded with saying it wasn't my unit and never heard anything again.
     
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2019
  2. justblue

    justblue Well-Known Member

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    When does your lease expire?
     
  3. John Sartain

    John Sartain Law Topic Starter New Member

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    February 11th next year
     
  4. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    Have you contacted your ELECTED mayor, city council person, or building inspectors?

    Try reporting the problem.
    Contact print, radio, and TV media.
    Iowa and Polk County law does protect people.
     
  5. John Sartain

    John Sartain Law Topic Starter New Member

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    I have contacted the building office in the city, with no response
     
  6. justblue

    justblue Well-Known Member

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    Has the building been condemned?
     
  7. John Sartain

    John Sartain Law Topic Starter New Member

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    I'm not sure, the Tennant's all moved out though.
     
  8. justblue

    justblue Well-Known Member

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    Do you have renter insurance?
     
  9. John Sartain

    John Sartain Law Topic Starter New Member

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    I sure do
     
  10. justblue

    justblue Well-Known Member

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    Call your insurance company and see if they will cover relocation/appropriate housing until the apt is fit for habitation.
     
    army judge likes this.
  11. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    Something is odd about your situation.
    Your dwelling might be owned by someone living outside of Iowa, maybe even the USA.
    It might be worth your time to go to the police station, explain your concerns to the watch commander, show her/him some photos (or a video) and see if the police can do anything to get you the help you need.

    The suggestion about reporting the fire to your insurer is also one that you should act on today.
    Your insurer is skilled at helping policyholders like you.
    You might be much happier after such a conversation with their customer service line.

    I know your city.
    I am surprised that Urbandale is decaying.
    I lived at one time in nearby West Des Moines many years ago.

    Let us know what you learn.
    I'm curious as to what is done to assist you.
     
    justblue likes this.

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