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Breaking lease due to Sandy damage

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Breaking lease due to Sandy damage

Postby joshcassan » Tue Nov 06, 2012 1:50 am

Breaking lease due to the building being shut down due to damage by hurricane sandy has been extensively suggested by the building management at no cost. The building is a high rise 54 story and it got so damaged that they're taking up to two months to get it back on shape. The building currently has no power, no elevator service and is full of gas/oil smell. The management office is offering to break the lease as of 10/31 and to reimburse the rent paid for the month of November. I cannot move out my furniture as I live on the 45 floor and need to wait until an elevator is working to schedule my move out. Should I break the lease? I feel that there's something tricky on this offer by the building management.
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Postby TenantNet » Tue Nov 06, 2012 5:05 am

Aside from the practical issues like moving your possessions and finding a new place, there are indeed some things to watch. First, I'm assuming you're unregulated being in a 45-story tower. Possible, but unlikely. Second, if you're paying rent for a 45th floor view, then you can probably consult with a tenant attorney.

The reason for that is that you would not be "breaking" your lease. Rather the landlord would be releasing you from the lease and all obligations, including damages. They would need to agree to return your deposit in a timely manner assuming you haven't done any major damage in the unit. And they need to put it in writing as to the reason for the release. You do not want to be hampered in your search for a new place.
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Postby joshcassan » Tue Nov 06, 2012 10:42 am

Thank you! What does unregulated means?
I sent the following email as requested by management, was this tricky?

"Dear XXXX,
Under the current circumstances where our apartment unit XXX located at XXXX apartment building cannot be accessed, we the leaseholders of apartment XXXX request to break our leasing contract as of 10/31/2012.

Apartment XXXX has not been occupied since 10/28/2012 when the apartment was evacuated. We hereby request the reimbursement of the rent payment for the month of November 2012 as well as the security deposit paid when the leasing contract was signed off.

We also request to be provided with information on a timely manner when elevator services will be restored and also to facilitate a time frame to move out our furniture from apartment XXXX. As expressed by Management, moving out our furniture must be at no cost."
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