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Thread: Breaking apartment/home leases?

  1. #1
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    I was wondering if anyone has had experience or knows anyone who has asked to break an apartment lease?

    I moved into my place here a little over a month and half ago. I live on the bottom floor of a very large apartment complex.

    It is a partially furnished and is geared towards undergraduates. Again, I live on the bottom floor, and there are two floors above me.

    Right outside my door is a walk way and then a little bit of grass and then a hill that doesn't seem to be owned by the complex.

    I have had constant trouble with the people above me throwing many things over their balconies, which land on my area (the cement in front of my window) and the grass right in front of that. I take Arthur out there to potty. While it's a small patch of grass it's still enough to walk around. Of note, this apartment area is in the back of the complex.

    I have found the following items in the grass:
    1. Potatoes (more than 5)
    2. Beer cans (numerous)
    3. cigarettes (numerous)
    4. Human hair
    5. A sock
    6. A ummm....how do I say this....ummm, something from the Trojan brand (if you know what I mean.) And I think it was used.

    I have discussed this with the property management and I have received the following responses:

    1. Trash is a problem
    2. Ewww gross (to the trojan)
    3. We could fine people, but need to know who exactly. (Which I saw them throw beer cans once. I took this knowledge to the property people, maybe they were fined, or maybe not. Who knows?)

    I am very unhappy with this apartment complex and would like to get out of the lease. I don't believe they picked up the Trojan, but I do believe that the it was shredded some with a mower, even though I emailed about it being disposed of. I have had beer on me, which I couldn't tell if that was from kicking the beer can off my cement area or from another can being throw right over my head. The people above me didn't know I was there.

    Any suggestions about attempting to break a lease. Would I even have grounds to do something?

    Sorry it's so long.

  2. #2
    Administrator keith's Avatar
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    Really tough :/

    First thing, if you havent already, is to examine all the fine print of your lease. See if there's any early get out clause or anything that could be used that way. Perhaps if you found someone to take over? sublet? Perhaps the penalty is low enough to consider it if you're that unhappy?

    Assuming that the penalty is paying to term and/or losing deposits etc. and there's no early get out then things are more sticky.

    Investigate state laws on leasing, you may find something useful and it'll be useful to brush up on them before the next stage.

    Put together a factual record of problems including their responses. Write a summary cover letter stating exactly what you want the outcome to be. In other words don't go all mushy and ask can they help, say clearly that you want to exit the lease early and that's that.

    They may well be more ready to talk about the options than you think! After all, it's better that than have you skip out (and as you already know, that's a non-starter for your credit record anyway).

    If your school has an accommodation office which students use to locate apartments, go talk to them and get them on side. No landlord/complex is going to want to be blacklisted by the local school and they may decide it's less risky to let you out and get someone else in than take that chance.

    If all that fails and they really won't even consider budging, then consider local zoning regulations such as environmental/noise and so on. An intervention from officials will add weight to your case and again, they won't want you there making trouble for their complex ;-) Again this is one you can use without actually DOING it but be careful to innocently suggest it rather than threaten it... ie. "I'm just at the end of my tether with it all and I'm so unhappy there :( my parents have suggested going to enviromental health because of the health risks but I dont want to cause trouble :( but perhaps I just have no other way" is better than "yeah? you IDIOTS I'm gonna call the cops on you" ;-)

    Finally if no go, another letter formally stating that you are no longer willing to continue with the contract because you believe that the place has been misrepresented to you and is a health risk etc. and suggest mediation to come to mutually acceptable terms. Again written in a no-nonsense businesslike way but not confrontational.

    End of the day, sadly, it's a legal document and just as it protects you against being thrown out, it protects them against someone just deciding to up and leave. So it's going to be much better to come to a mutually agreeable solution. It seems to me to be the right time of year for them to be able to find a new tenant pretty quickly which should help.

    Good luck!
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  3. #3
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    Thank you for all the suggestions.

    I actually believe I'm the oldest tenant living here at the ripe age of 30. While I understood it was geared towards undergraduate students I didn't know it would feel like a dorm room area.

  4. #4
    Administrator Tink's Avatar
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    Call the police station on the non-emergency line and ask about local ordinances. There must be something regarding trash, public intoxication, and improper disposal of biohazard waste.

    Hey, I'm serious. If the property management won't take you seriously, maybe they will take the authorities seriously.

    Also, check with the Department of Health. There are regulations for counties, and cities, and villages... ect.

    We lived in a so called luxury apartment complex when first coming to Orlando. The first year wasn't too bad, but the second year was from hell. We left at the end of the lease even though our house wasn't going to be ready for five more months. Couldn't stand it any more.






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  5. #5
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    I just emailed the county health department and inquired about health codes, etc.

    Let's hope I hear something back from them. If not, I'll call.

  6. #6
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    Oh yuck!

    What does your lease say?












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  7. #7
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    I am by no means an expert on this matter but I would consider not paying my rent until they address your concerns. Either they will fix the problem(s) or evict you, either way the problem is gone.


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  8. #8
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    I have been looking over my lease and on several accounts the safety and comfort of other tenants is stated as important.

    "Tenants are members of an apartment complex and are expected to act responsibly and not interfere with the rights, comfort, or safety of their roommate(s) and other students."

    Again, it's geared towards students but you don't have to be one to live here. Many of you know that I'm in this area of the country completing my year long internship for my PsyD.

    I also found this: "Throwing of trash on the ground will not be tolerated."

    And this "Cigarettes are not be thrown off the balconies or anywhere else on premises."

    Oh and this: "...conduct himself and require his guests to conduct themselves in a manner which will not disturb his neighbors peaceful enjoyment of the premises."

    And my personal favorite: "Nor shall tenants, tenant's family, or guests act in a disorderly, boisterous, or unlawful manner or disturb the rights, comforts, or conveniences of other persons in the area in which the premises are located."



    All of these things are being violated.

  9. #9
    Administrator Tink's Avatar
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    Use each one and give quantitative descriptions of how each is being violated. Then send it to someone who can make a difference, the corporation or housing authority. Whomever is in executive control of the place.






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  10. #10
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    I would do EXACTLY what Keith said!

    For some very specific reasons. However, to my laymens eye, it appears that you've got some ammunition to us to break your lease. But, make sure you document, document, document. Take pictures of the trash outside your door. Insure that the pictures have an accurat date and time stamp. Then do what Keith says!

    Tom (... knows when to pay attention!)

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