Can I break the lease if My landlord Hasn’t fixed the plumbing in my unit?

Okay I’m having a terrible issue with my apartment. I’m having major plumbing problems of which the toilet is clogged up and the tub is overflow with sewage. I can’t even run no water at all. Because if I do both the tube and toilet will rise. My landlord told me that they are Experiencing  plumbing problems with units where I stay. She is however allowing me to use vacant unit. To only!! Go to the bathroom and take showers. I owe 1400 on last month rent. Of which my new bill is coming up at the end of the month. I can’t even sleep at night because the smell is soo terrible. 

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  • R2D4
    Lv 6
    4 weeks ago

    YES.................................

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  • 4 weeks ago

    No.  Just because they have a plumbing problem doesn't mean you can break the lease.  You have to allow them time to fix the problem.  And that problem - sewage in the tub, means the clog is not local.  It is farther out, possibly at a road joint - could be from your end or a neighbor's.  Anyway, you have to give them time to fix it.  But a plumber should be able to fix it in one day - ONE DAY.  Is the landlord delaying calling someone?  Giving excuses?  You didn't say.  But you can't just break the lease.  If you don't have renter's insurance, then either be satisfied with the stink and using another unit's shower and toilet or go and rent a hotel room for a few days, or until the problem has been fixed.

    Source(s): Certified Paralegal, with 25+ years' experience & with Landlord & Tenant law experience.
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  • Bort
    Lv 6
    1 month ago

    Look up the Warranty of Habitability law for your area. These issues fall within it. Follow the instructions on how to make use of that laws rules and procedures to force the landlord to correct these issues. If they're already working on it, as that law states, you have to give them a reasonable time to complete the repairs.

    Another thing you can do is contact your city's Code Officer and explain these issues asking for them to inspect the place. Be prepared that if you take this step and the issues are as severe as you described the code officer may shut the place down and order everyone to move out until these issues are fixed.

    Having sewage come back up through the drains is a serious health hazard the code officer isn't going to take lightly. That kind of problem might actually be something the city has to care for, not the landlord. And it may already be in the process of being repaired. You won't know the status of any of that without making contact and asking.

    Under the Warranty of Habitibility law(s) you have the right to with hold rent until the issues are repaired and if they're not repaired in a reasonable time you have the option to move out without penalty / breach of contract / lease violation and will not owe the landlord any money from the time the issue began.

    We have to protect and take care of ourselves but we also have to do it in a respectable, cordial, manner that's also within what the laws allow us to do. Knowing what we can do is the key. Figure out what your location's laws allow you to do, and where you can get help with it from if the landlord isn't addressing the issues and making efforts to correct them.

    Knowing the laws, and contacting the code officer, is usually where to start getting help in a situation like this if the landlord isn't cooperating by making a reasonable effort to correct it. The code officer will MAKE them correct it by shutting the place down until the corrections are made. The code officer is the department of law that has that authority as well as the authority to hand out citations for code violations like this that makes an area or property inhabitable.

    Having sewage come back up through the drains is not habitable.

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  • 1 month ago

    Only a judge can let you out of a lease if the landlord doesn't. If you just decide to stop paying, or move out, you are still legally liable for the full rent until the landlord has a replacement for you.

    You MAY be able to legally withhold rent until repairs are made, but you must follow whatever procedures your state's landlord-tenant law requires. That's for you to know, there are fifty different states. You can also contact the county health department; ask them to come inspect. If something is considered dangerous to your health, the health department can declare the place unfit. You would then pay to live somewhere else until the problem was fixed, and the landlord would be required by law to give you credit toward your rent for what you paid (receipts necessary) or you continue to pay the landlord and the landlord pays for wherever you stay. With plumbing issues, which should take no more than a week or two, a landlord would probably pay for you to stay at a hotel or motel.

    But the landlord will not do anything until you force the issue. See what your state says you need to do to legally withhold rent. You cannot break the lease over it.

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  • 1 month ago

    if they are trying to fix it, you can't break the lease without penalty. if they aren't trying to fix it, report it to the housing inspector (MIGHT NOT BE THE HEALTH DEPT.) HIGHLY DOUBTFUL LL will pay for a motel.

    if you have renters insurance, since if they will pay for a hotel since an apartment without usable running water is not habitable.

    but how do you expect a landlord to pay a plumber went tenants don't pay rent?

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  • Eva
    Lv 7
    1 month ago

    You should call code enforcement in your town/city/village. There's no way that's legal for it to go on so long.

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  • LILL
    Lv 7
    1 month ago

    Maybe if you paid your rent as agreed, she would be more attentive to the plumbing problem.

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  • 1 month ago

    You should inform her that you will break your lease because of uninhabitable living conditions. The landlord should be able to fix that within three days. Get the statement of a friend who can act as a witness, and tell her you will be suing her if she comes after you for the remainder of the lease.

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  • Maxi
    Lv 7
    1 month ago

    Contact the health department about your living conditions and lack of maintenance by the landlord...... you are in rent debt and 'want to breach your contract' A 'plumbing issue' will not erase your debt or legally allow you to take thst action on your on.......if the health department deem it unliveable then you pay your rent debt and they will tell your landlord to move you into another unit to live or allow you to breach your contract legally

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  • 1 month ago

    In most states if the landlord hasn't made the repairs, requested in writing, after a reasonable time then you must take the landlord to court for a breach of the lease.  Google "landlord tenant laws" and your state's name for details.

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