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Old 12-01-2009, 11:28 PM
 
Location: transient!
64 posts, read 108,029 times
Reputation: 39

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Hi everyone,
I am currently living in a house i absolutley hate. It is badly built, in an awful area ( i had to move in blind to the city so wasnt fully aware of the area) mouse infested, there is mold on a wall, persistent leaks, so many things have gone wrong and the landlord always takes weeks to get anything fixed if he does at all, we were without heating for almost a month until yesterday when he finally fixed it and it was extremley cold! basically I am tied to the lease until august 2010 but I really cannot live here any longer, it is really depressing me! I have always been on time with rent but I pay in cash and do not get a recipt. I think the best option is to try and sublet the place, so I would apprecite some advice on the best way to find a sublessee.
Failing that, does anyone know if I would have any chance getting out of the lease in housing court? i really dont want it to come to that but if I cant get a sublet it may be my only option.
Thank you
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Old 12-02-2009, 06:40 AM
 
Location: St Thomas, US Virgin Islands
22,154 posts, read 26,310,318 times
Reputation: 22744
You can't sublease without the permission of the LL and many leases incorporate a sublease stipulation. If your lease doesn't include such a stipulation it doesn't mean that you're allowed to sublease and you should check your state laws.

Paying in cash without getting a receipt is an absolute no-no and you should stop the practice immediately and demand a receipt (you can buy an inexpensive receipt book and have the landlord sign for each payment.)

Any time you have problems with breakdowns and maintenance you should send your complaints to the LL in writing, preferably certified mail return receipt. By law (and again you need to check your particular state laws) there are certain repairs (heating is one of them) which have to be fixed by the LL within a certain time frame. But without a paper trail and documentation you stand less of a chance in prevailing if your problems lead you into the courtroom.

Good luck.
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Old 12-02-2009, 08:28 AM
 
Location: Pasadena, CA
1,028 posts, read 1,877,193 times
Reputation: 733
Your lease should outline the procedures and consequences for breaking the lease.
Read the fine print and see if you can locate the information.
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Old 12-02-2009, 08:36 AM
 
Location: transient!
64 posts, read 108,029 times
Reputation: 39
Thanks for your responses so far. My lease does permit subletting with the landlords permission. He is firmly of the school of 'pay your rent and i dont care wtf your doing' so if we go to him with people willing to sublease I doubt he would say no.
I just really cant stay in this house any longer, there are alot more problems then I first mentioned its just that the things that most affect us (really loud upstairs neighbours that stay up til at least 2am every signle night, dangerous area we dont feel safe in) are things that I know are not the landlords responsibility so would be no use in court. When he sent some contractors in to fix one of the many problems with the house they stole two expensive mobile phones from our kitchen. THe LL replaced them within a week but that just shouldnt have to happen at all!
Sorry I know im just kind of venting now, its been a very frustrating few months!
Are there any reputable websites that I could look for a sublet on?
Thanks
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Old 12-02-2009, 09:18 AM
 
Location: St Thomas, US Virgin Islands
22,154 posts, read 26,310,318 times
Reputation: 22744
Quote:
Originally Posted by aoifster View Post
Are there any reputable websites that I could look for a sublet on? Thanks
What about your local newspaper? I would personally go that route before going on the internet.

You're learning some rudimentary renting basics very fast! I don't want to add to your problems or rub your nose in the mess but first you should never move into a new neighborhood without checking out both it and the rental property in advance. Moving in "blind" is a fool's venture and best to look over the property during a walk-through with the LL so that any obvious problems can be documented. If you have any doubts about the area itself, visit it both during the day and the night (the upstairs neighbors' late-night activities would have been apparent). Best advice - when relocating, stay in short-term accommodation until you get a chance to know where you are.

Never give cash without getting a receipt.

Let the LL know in writing any problems.

Arrange to be on site whenever any outside contractors come in to do any kind of a fix. Did you report the theft of the mobile phones to the police? Nice that the LL replaced them but a police report provides you ammunition.

As much as you hate the place, under no circumstances leave before you've documented the problems or found a sub-lessee who the LL approves. Where the former is concerned, it's not too late to send the LL a return receipt certified letter documenting the problems you've encountered and advising that under the terms of the lease agreement you're looking for a subtenant. Be non-combative, simply explain that you're not happy with the situation and document the problems, and ask him for his suggestions.

As to the latter, regardless of how you feel about the LL's stance, viz: "He is firmly of the school of 'pay your rent and i dont care wtf your doing' so if we go to him with people willing to sublease I doubt he would say no..." that's only your opinion. If you find subtenants, they have to be approved by the LL and if you take a combative stance and tick him off he can refuse anyone you come up with and force you to the lease agreement.

If this all works out and you find a suitable subtenant, make sure that the LL absolves you in writing of any and all future claims against you where the lease is concerned.

Hope this helps a little and better luck next time around!
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Old 12-02-2009, 09:50 AM
 
Location: Boise, ID
5,481 posts, read 10,637,511 times
Reputation: 4857
Also, be aware that by subletting, you are probably responsible for what that person does to the house. If they don't pay rent, the landlord will come after you. If they do $10,000 worth of damages, you will get the bill if they don't pay it. Subletting can be more trouble than its worth, IMO.

"Getting out of your lease early" and "Subletting" are two very different things.

Finally, if the rental is in a bad part of town, you are probably going to mostly get people who aren't the most reliable for applicants.
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Old 12-02-2009, 11:24 AM
 
Location: St Thomas, US Virgin Islands
22,154 posts, read 26,310,318 times
Reputation: 22744
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lacerta View Post
Also, be aware that by subletting, you are probably responsible for what that person does to the house. If they don't pay rent, the landlord will come after you. If they do $10,000 worth of damages, you will get the bill if they don't pay it. Subletting can be more trouble than its worth, IMO.

"Getting out of your lease early" and "Subletting" are two very different things.

Finally, if the rental is in a bad part of town, you are probably going to mostly get people who aren't the most reliable for applicants.
That's why I suggested, "If this all works out and you find a suitable subtenant, make sure that the LL absolves you in writing of any and all future claims against you where the lease is concerned."
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Old 12-02-2009, 12:49 PM
 
Location: transient!
64 posts, read 108,029 times
Reputation: 39
Thank you all for the advice. I know it was very foolish of me to move in blind, I just immigrated to the US and had really wanted to have somewhere to live organized before i arrived. Next time il just stay in a hotel for a few weeks! would definatly have meant less hassle in the end. Lessons learnt I suppose!
Looks like my only real option is to find someone willing to sublet or to try and negotiate with my landlord to be let out of the lease early, even though I doubt he would agree to losing 2 tenants in the current market!
We never reported the theft, partly because the items were replaced so quickly and the landlord was so apoligetic that we let it slide.
This was my first rental, and my first time living in the US, and I have definatly learned some major lessons!
Hopefully I will find a way out of the place before I go completley mad from sleep deprivation due to the noise!
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Old 12-02-2009, 05:52 PM
 
14,047 posts, read 25,875,821 times
Reputation: 8195
Quote:
Originally Posted by aoifster View Post
Hi everyone,
I am currently living in a house i absolutley hate. It is badly built, in an awful area ( i had to move in blind to the city so wasnt fully aware of the area) mouse infested, there is mold on a wall, persistent leaks, so many things have gone wrong and the landlord always takes weeks to get anything fixed if he does at all, we were without heating for almost a month until yesterday when he finally fixed it and it was extremley cold! basically I am tied to the lease until august 2010 but I really cannot live here any longer, it is really depressing me! I have always been on time with rent but I pay in cash and do not get a recipt. I think the best option is to try and sublet the place, so I would apprecite some advice on the best way to find a sublessee.

Failing that, does anyone know if I would have any chance getting out of the lease in housing court? i really dont want it to come to that but if I cant get a sublet it may be my only option.
Thank you
Do you really want to be in the position of Landlord... especially if the unit has problems?

It sounds like a recipe for one big convoluted mess.

Some of the deficiencies cited have no bearing on the Landlord... such as location.

Other items may be areas of questionable culpability... rodents "Can" be caused by poor housekeeping and as "Can" mildew.

Habitability issues such as a leaky roof and non-functional heat should be open and shut against the Landlord... especially the heat in winter time.

If the heater is non-functional or better yet, declared hazardous by your local utility or code compliance... and not corrected in a timely fashion without alternative arrangements... such as providing temporary heat or accommodation... you should have an easy time terminating your obligation...

I repeat, I could not in good conscience rent or sub-lease to someone knowing the unit to be uninhabitable.

Last edited by Ultrarunner; 12-02-2009 at 10:20 PM.. Reason: correction
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Old 12-04-2009, 10:32 AM
 
Location: transient!
64 posts, read 108,029 times
Reputation: 39
Thanks for all the advice everyone, I think I have a better idea of where I stand now, I will just try to negotiate with my landlord, he is very laid back and not so good about getting thing done but he is a decent guy so hopefully he will be willing to come to some sort of an agreement, if not then I will just have to either suck it up or hope something else breaks so i can legally get out of here
sub letting sounds more trouble then its worth and yes, i would have a problem sending someone in there given all the problems!
thanks everyone
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