Posted by Mr. Pro Se on January 25, 1999 at 22:14:57:
In Reply to: breaking lease: notice required? posted by Michelle on January 25, 1999 at 11:49:23:
: I am planning to break my lease and leave my apartment because, to make a long story short - it has become a hazardous place... Do I need to send my landlord advance notice? I am prepared to defend myself in court as to why I left etc. etc. but I want to know what the proper procedure is. Can I send the landlord a certified letter explaining why I left AFTER I leave?
what you have here, if infact it is a hazardous place, is called a CONSTRUCTIVE EVICTION. It means that the conditions in the apt evicted you. With a true constructive eviction, you do not have to pay any rent remaining on the lease and you are legally free and clear of the landlord. HOWEVER, you do not describe the hazardous condition. You also fail to mention if you built a PAPER TRAIL of certified letters to the landlord describing the condition and asking for eradication of it. Certified letters, the only type to ever send a landlord, will put an end to the old " he said/she said" should you wind up in court. Before you move out, I would strongly advise you to call 212 960 4800 and get an inspection of the hazardous condition and send a certified letter to the landlord stating that due to the hazardous condition, you can no longer occupy the apt. His defense can only be that the condition is not hazardous. The inspector bears tremendous weight here in deciding if it is hazardous. Without a detailed explanation of the hazard it is hard to advise you as to who to call, such as the gas company, the electric company, the fire dep't etc. You better take lots of pictures and try to get people to sign statements as to what they saw in your apt BEFORE you move out if the condition is so serious that you need to move immediately. Should the condition not be hazardous or a hazardous conditiion that CAN be repaired in a short time, then by just running away you WILL be held liable for all rent due on the lease. If you plan to stay, then the days that you lived under a true hazardous condition, should be free of all rent due for those days depending again on this conditiion. good luck...
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