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Landlord's Breach of Contract
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Yolanda
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Joined: Wed Mar 1st, 2006
Location: Texas USA
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 Posted: Tue Jun 10th, 2008 10:04 pm
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It sounds like your new place is working out well for you; however, a landlord sends a notice to pay or quit because you owe rent.  If it is not paid, such as in your case, you must vacate by the 11th, but you still owe rent for June.  It sounds as if that might be all you will owe.  I still would speak with your landlord.  It is unfortunate that it is not a safe place, repairs were not done, and there are police frequently, but that still does not justify you moving out and not paying the rent.  You might be lucky as the LL might not file on you because of the circumstances; however, do not be surprised if you receive notice to go to court.  Good luck to you and keep us posted!  Enjoy your new place!

movinout
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 Posted: Mon Jun 9th, 2008 01:39 pm
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Thank you for your post.

I realize we did not notify the manager (originally) in writing, and this is a problem. However, I have plenty of witnesses (my daughter for one) who live here and have also informed the manager that theirs is not working, and he does nothing. I did give them notice that the air is out in writing with the breach of contract I sent the manager and landlord, and the STILL have not fixed the A/C. Also, my daughter DID give written notice months ago about plumbing problems (bathroom does not work, dishwasher leaks) and the electric in one room does not work. Also, a pipe broke in the ceiling, and although they came and repaired the pipe, the ceiling still has not been repaired. (That is when she gave him a list of all the problems that need fixed - and he has done nothing.) So even without giving him written notice, I did give verbal with witnesses... and with all the other things, I can't believe we would be expected to stay in this place. Especially with all the police activity here lately. I intend to see if I can get police reports to show the great number of calls here... many due to the manager's friends. They should not be allowed to live here, imo.

I feel I am within my rights NOT to pay this month. We are not getting the use of the apartment and feel it is no fault of our own that we are being forced to leave due to these conditions.

OH landlord
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 Posted: Mon Jun 9th, 2008 12:13 pm
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The notice you recieved sounds like a Pay or Quit notice.  This is the beginning of an eviction suit.  The items you have noted don't appear to warrant the uninhabitability of your unit.  Only the A/C would warrant that, and you said that you hadn't given the management a notice in writing that it was broken and allowed them the 14 days to repair.  You must, at least, allow management a chance to repair by giving written notice of a problem before you can attempt to terminate at all.  You didn't do this.  Management can say they were never notified and you terminated inappropriately.

You do owe them rent for this month.  You are a month to month tenant and must give 30 days notice to terminate.  You owe rent for this period.  I urge your to pay the rent for this required notice period before they file the eviction suit.  Once filed, it will show up on your court records for years.

movinout
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 Posted: Mon Jun 9th, 2008 02:30 am
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Update:

Before sending the notices, I changed it from "30 day notice" to "we are leaving immediately" and we did begin the moving process. On June 6th I received a note in my door from the manager, and I'm not so sure I understand it completely. I don't have it in front of me (most of the things are moved now to the new house, and that is where we are staying). I am just at the apartment boxing up things for the Uhaul tomorrow. Anyway, the notice from the manager was titled something like "Notice of 5 or 10 day quit."

Then it said we are indebited to them for June's rent, but then went on to say we had to be out by June 11th, and if we are not out by then, they will proceed to go after us in court for rents due.

I am wondering if that means, if we are out by the 11th (Wednesday) then we do not owe June rent? How can they tell us to be out the 11th AND charge us for the month of June? We are trying to pack up and get out as fast as possible. The beds and living room, etc, are already at the new place. I just have closets, dressers, computers, and kitchen stuff left to move (which is quite a lot). But am I breaking my behind for nothing? Will they keep our deposits?

I can not believe how great it is to be in an air conditioned place again. The heat here lately has been stiffling. My husband has several medical problems, and it was really affecting him. His feet swelled up so big he could not put on his shoes. He is now feeling much better in the house.

One good note... I finally sold the van. Took a real loss on it, but it is out of our hair.

Oh... and another bit of drama... the other night my daughter came home late and she and her friend saw a man standing outside my house hiding by the bushes with a knife. It scared her to death. He looked right at her (she knows the guy -- he is one of the manager's friends who helps do work around the apartments). They were too afraid to get out of their car and go in their apartment (which is 3 doors down from mine). So she went to a nearby walmart and called 911. Foyur police cars came AND a helicopter! It was like a circus! They had flood lights going all over the grounds to find the guy. They found him, and he claimed he had heard a fight going on outside, so he had come out and just had the knife for his own protection. Problem is, that story was not true... we (my husband and I) had seen him earlier running all over out in the parking lot arguing with some people. They were making all kinds of noise and it was like 2 in the morning. Well, my daughter was so scared she spent the night at a friend's house, and the next day is when I went and paid rent at the new place and we started staying over there. This place is just not safe. There have been police here four nights in a row.

Anyway, I need to get back to work. There is so much to do and I have no help at the moment. Thanks for all your responses. I may be without internet for awhile until it gets transfered to the new place. But I will check back in when I can. 

Yolanda
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Joined: Wed Mar 1st, 2006
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 Posted: Sun Jun 8th, 2008 07:35 pm
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LL Laura gave you excellent advice.  I can fully understand why you do not want to reside there and feel it is "uninhabitable."  You do have rights as a tenant; however,  I am not an attorney, but you cannot terminate a legally binding contract without following the law.  You are fortunate that you are on a month to month lease.  You are possibly setting yourself up for additional fees and charges which might end up costing you more than a month's rent.  It is my suggestion that you fulfill your responsibilities according to the lease agreement and state law and not move out immediately.  Then, if you still feel it is necessary, you can pursue it in court.  Your chances will be better if you do.  I do not know about Oklahoma, but in Texas, it has been my experience that courts do not favor tenants who have broken a lease.  

It is good that you have pictures, but the pictures you posted do not appear to be grounds for "uninhabitable."  You state the A/C is covered under the law, but, without proper written notice, it might not hold in court; therefore, not subject to immediate termination.  In most cases, verbal agreements do not stand up in court and everything is subject to interpretation.  That is why it is highly recommended that all conversations and agreements be in written form and executed.  It is also advisable that all correspondence be sent by Certified Mail, Return Receipt Requested as it protects both parties (even if you use e-mail).      


I highly recommend you try to negotiate a settlement with your landlord.  He might even allow you to terminate your lease early.  If not, it might be expensive to pay rent at both places, but may be less expensive in the long run.  Make sure you read state statutes and local law.  Also, call an attorney for advice.  You can usually find one that has free consult. 

If you do not hear from your landlord within 3 days, I would send a  letter by CMRRR immediately.  Good luck to you and keep us posted! 

Last edited on Sun Jun 8th, 2008 07:56 pm by Yolanda

movinout
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 Posted: Mon Jun 2nd, 2008 08:59 pm
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My husband and I discussed your first post, and it made a lot of sense. How can we stay the whole month if it is considered "uninhabitable?" But trust me, in 95 degree weather in Oklahoma, it is uninhabitable. My husband is diabetic, and the heat especially effects him. Our whole lives are disrupted. We sit directly in front of fans practically naked, and we are still sweating rivers. Our problem is, we can not afford to pay rent here and pay for rent at the new place both in the same month. It is already a burden on us to pay the depost to the new place to "hold" it for us until July 1st, then start paying rent there. Plus, my husband has been here over 4 years (me, 3) and we have a lot of things to move. It will take time... then time once everything is out to clean properly. Since they breached the contract, I should think we'd be given reasonable time to leave?

"If the air conditioner situation is legally included in "habitability issues (it is not something that is directly addressed in the Oklahoma Landlord Tenant Laws that I read through, but you could attempt to verify whether the Laws have changed in that regard...) but you don't have any written communication with the landlord to prove that you have legally notified him/her of the problem, then you would have to legally notify him/her before counting the legally allowed 14 days for his/her repair of the problem."

Yes, I have found on Oklahoma law sites that say the air conditioning is covered under habitability laws. You are right about our error in not having it in writing, although I think it might give us more power since the same thing happened to my daughter. Since the air conditioning is covered under the habitability laws here, we should be able to immediately terminate our lease and move immediately, correct? If so, how much time is allowed for us to move?

Did I tell you that I spoke to a friend who knows air conditioning? He said to replace the fuse at the unit, that is probably the only problem. When I checked the fuse box... our fuses were gone. My daughter's are gone, too, and hers doesn't even have the housing that holds the fuses. Since they are required to provide and maintain the air, this seems like gross negligence. If they did not remove the fuses themselves (or "borrow" them for another unit), and if it is due to vandalism, this also goes back to the fence being removed that was part of what we agreed to rent. (The apartment and the fenced back yard). We no longer have the privacy or safety of a fenced yard that was promised when we agreed to rent.

The whole time we are out there looking at the unit, we get to listen to the hum of the managers brand new LARGER air conditioning unit, and the air conditioner at the office is humming away, too, and no one is even living there, and no one is inside. ARGH!

As a result of your first post, I changed the wording a little on the notices, and told them we terminate the lease due to their breach immediately, and are moving immediately and after reasonable time to move and clean the apartment we will return the keys and surrender the property. I did not give a definite date. I am hoping we can get it all done within two weeks and see if our new landlord will let us prorate this month... and only pay half the rent on the 14th/15th. That would seem more fair, and it gets us out of this sweat shop we are living in. How could we be held responsible for paying this whole month's rent on an uninhabitable place? (Or even for two weeks?) He will not be able to rent this out until he fixes the problem. And it seems to me, we can work our fingers to the bone to get out of here, but it will still take a certain amount of time. I can not snap my fingers and do it in a day or two... or even a week. We will be working as fast as we can under this horrible heat to get it done in two weeks.

The fire happened on January 9th, and rent had already been paid that month. Nothing was returned, and our next moth was still paid in full. The law requires that landlords with fireplaces keep them maintained with proper periodic cleaning (I believe I was told once each season) and the whole time we have been here, it has never been done. The fire report states that the cause of the fire was creosote build up, and from researching on the net, it said the landlord is guilty of negligence for not keeping the fireplace properly maintained. The landlord had told us (kind of half jokingly) "I'm not saying to ever do this again... but this is one of the best things that could have happened! The insurance money is going to do a lot of good things for the property."

Anyway, I sent the papers to the landlord via email (he lives in California) and put the written notice in the rent slot to the manager.

 

Your thoughts?

 

Thank you for letting me see the other side. :)

LandlordLaura
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 Posted: Mon Jun 2nd, 2008 06:22 pm
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Again, these are just my personal opinions, based on what you posted:

Hopefully you will get additional opinions from other Landlords.  Basically, if you refer to my previous post you will see the section of the Law that states that you are required to pay rent until the tenancy is terminated.  "Terminated" refers to the date you vacate the property, not the date you provide your landlord with notice that you will move at a future date.

Although I understand that you are not happy about the situations with your landlord or the items you have photographed in your post, they are not items that would actually prevent you from living at the property for the term of your lease and/or providing proper move-out notificaton. 

If the air conditioner situation is legally included in "habitability issues (it is not something that is directly addressed in the Oklahoma Landlord Tenant Laws that I read through, but you could attempt to verify whether the Laws have changed in that regard...) but you don't have any written communication with the landlord to prove that you have legally notified him/her of the problem, then you would have to legally notify him/her before counting the legally allowed 14 days for his/her repair of the problem. 

When the fireplace situation happened, did the landlord charge you for rent while you were displaced and staying at the hotel?  A landlord is generally required to waive any rent when you cannot legally live in the property, but is not also required to pay for your accommodations while you are gone.  That would amount to double payment on the landlord's part.   Renters are generally required to insure their own property against damage and secure their own renter's insurance policies.  The landlord is probably not responsible for the damages you mentioned, unless you can prove that he, personally, damaged your property himself.  Unless you have a written promise to pay from the Landlord, you probably will not be paid.

At face value, I don't think that the van situation, the fence situation, the storm door situation or the fireplace situation are things that would legally qualify as "habitability issues" and legally entitle you for an immediate termination of your lease.  Offhand, I notice the following problems:  1) You have been living with some of the situations for such a long time and 2) you do not have written communication with the landlord to verify that you advised him of the problems and/or 3) the stated problems do not seem to be "habitability" issues under the Law.  If you do not pay your rent and continue to live in the property, the landlord would be able to follow the Landlord Tenant Laws and serve you with the legally required paperwork to enforce the terms of the lease agreement re: rent payment.

You asked, "Even with the month to month lease, the lease says they must be given a 30 day notice. I just contend that since they have breached the contract, we should be given a reasonable amount of time to move (30 days?) and not be obligated to pay since he is in breach of the contract?"  Everyone will have to follow the Laws.  The lease agreement is a contract that is meant to protect all parties.   I woud  personally suggest that you pay your rent and provide the legally required move-out notificaiton to the landlord to prevent further legal issues.  If you would like to send a written notificaiton of the problems and issues you have with the property/landlord, you could certainly could do that and politely let him/her know that you plan on pursuing your options regarding a reimbursement from him/her.

I would suggest that you speak with an experienced Landlord Tenant Attorney about your situation to get proper legal prospective and advice.   You situation is complicated and all of your evidence could be reviewed by the Attorney.

I hope things work out for you and work out for your daughter.  Keep us posted...

movinout
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 Posted: Sun Jun 1st, 2008 08:01 pm
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Pictures of breaches... grass, garbage and damaged door...








movinout
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 Posted: Sun Jun 1st, 2008 07:14 pm
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Here is the letter I intend to send also. Question: If we terminate lease, can he still evict? Would that not be viewed as retaliation for our demand to terminate the lease agreement? Even with the month to month lease, the lease says they must be given a 30 day notice. I just contend that since they have breached the contract, we should be given a reasonable amount of time to move (30 days?) and not be obligated to pay since he is in breach of the contract?

Here's the letter (sorry so long - other issues are discussed).

30 Day Notice                                                                                                                                    June 1, 2008

 

I,  XXXXXXX and XXXXXXXX, do hereby give 30 days notice to vacate the premises. This also serves as notice of immediate termination of our month-to-month lease.

 

Under section 118 of the Oklahoma  Landlord Tenant Law,
    1. A landlord shall at all times during the tenancy:
      1. Except in the case of a single-family residence, keep all common areas of his building, grounds, facilities and appurtenances in a clean, safe and sanitary condition;
      2. Make all repairs and do whatever is necessary to put and keep the tenant's dwelling unit and premises in a fit and habitable condition,
      3. Maintain in good and safe working order and condition all electrical, plumbing, sanitary, heating, ventilating, air-conditioning and other facilities and appliances, including elevators, supplied or required to be supplied by him;
      4. Except in the case of one-or two-family residences or where provided by a governmental entity, provide and maintain appropriate receptacles and conveniences for the removal of ashes, garbage, rubbish and other waste incidental to the occupancy of the dwelling unit and arrange for the frequent removal of such wastes; and
      5. Except in the case of a single-family residence or where the service is supplied by direct and independently-metered utility connections to the dwelling unit, supply running water and reasonable amounts of hot water at all times and reasonable he-at.
The TERMS “property” and “landlord” and “owner” refers to XXX Townhomes and XXX, owner.

The TERMS “manager” or “management” refers to XXX, the on-site property manager.

The TERM “we” refers to XXX and XXX. (tenants)

 

It is our position, that many areas of our lease have been breached by landlord/management.

 

Notice was given to the manager more than 14 days ago that the air conditioning unit was not working properly. I requested a filter as it is the property’s obligation to maintain the unit, and my request was ignored. (A message was left on the office machine; my calls are never returned.) I have since installed my own new filter, and the air still does not work, and no attempt has been made by management to contact me regarding this, or to repair the unit. I have had to purchase two fans.

 

The trash receptacle and surrounding area is often full and overflowing with garbage, and management has not kept the facility in a sanitary condition. Often, there are shopping carts from the nearby Wal-mart strewn across the parking lot, and also children’s bicycles, skateboards, and toys. As of today, the grass has been let go so long, it is going to seed.

 

During a recent storm, the storm door was damaged, and does not close. XXX is aware of this problem, as he has placed notices “from the management” in our door and the problem is obvious.

 

Many promises have been broken by the landlord.

 

We were told by the landlord that the fence that was removed from our back yard would be replaced within a few weeks at least a year ago, the fence has still not been replaced. This presents an additional burden on us, as we have small dogs and the fenced yard was one of the features that precluded our reason to rent. We also no longer have a place to hang out laundry, and the removal of the fence greatly reduces the size of our designated area that was the agreed upon living quarters when the property was rented.

 

We were promised compensation for our losses due to a fire caused by creosote in the chimney. Our damages/losses were extensive, and we incurred the cost of a week’s worth of alternative housing (in a hotel) while a new apartment was being readied. It is our understanding, that another tenant that had no where near the losses we sustained, agreed on a settlement of $1500, which she received. We’ve been promised numerous times we would receive some kind of compensation, but have not. We have pictures of all the fire damage and can verify losses of more than $6000 in damages ( 2 computers, speaker system, bed, couch, desk, & other furniture, items stolen by persons hired by (owner), and numerous other items that were destroyed as well as the week spent in the hotel) that is the maximum allowed in small claims court. (Owner) has promised compensation several times, but has never followed through.

 

We were promised compensation for the landlord’s use of our ’74 Ford Econoline 200 van. (Compensation was to be in the form of new tires, repairs, and purchase of insurance.) No compensation has been received.

 

After the landlord no longer desired the use of the vehicle, many items belonging to the property were left in the van as storage. We requested the return of the key, and received it. We asked if the van could be parked in an out-of-the-way area of the parking lot, and (owner) gave permission for the van to be parked in the farthest SW parking space.

 

On May 16th, 2008, we noticed someone in the van. (tenant) confronted the person (XXX), and he said he had a key given to him by management and had been told to get the van running and remove the vehicle. The key is obviously a duplicate made by the landlord or his maintenance men without our permission, as the only key given to (owner) was returned to us long ago. XXX was told (by tenant) that we own the van, we have the title, and to stop what he was doing. XXX said that the manager had told him that he did not know who owned the van and had been trying to locate the owner for 2 years. (Which is odd, for several reasons: 1) (manager) has not been the property manager for 2 years. 2) (manager) had the key, so he must have been aware that the property owner had obtained that key, and it is reasonable to assume he would have discussed this with the property owner and would have been told who owned the van. 3) No attempt was made to run a check of the VIN number, or it would have shown we hold the title. 4) We have never received a phone call or knock at the door, asking if we owned the van. We believe no attempt was made by (manager) to find the owner of the van, because he knows who owns it.

 

After finding (the young man) in the van, (tenant) immediately went to the manager’s office during normal business hours and knocked on his door. Getting no response, (tenant) made numerous phone calls to the manager and the property owner and left messages. No messages were returned by either party.

On May 18th, 2008 at approximately 1:30 am, we noticed the van had been pulled out from its parking space, and was sitting in the middle of the parking lot. A white car pulled up, and dropped off a second young man, then the white car left the parking lot. When we got outside, (the young man) was behind the wheel of the van, and another young man was standing outside the driver’s side door of the van. (We have pictures.) We called 911, and parked our vehicle nose-to-nose with the van, blocking the van until the police could arrive. After approximately 20-30 minutes, (the young man) returned the van to its parking space, and ran behind the apartment building with the other young man. In a few minutes, the white car returned, driven by the second young man. He parked this vehicle and went into apartment 1609. (We have pictures.) A police officer arrived approximately 15 minutes later. We pointed out the apartment in which the second young man entered, and the policeman had him come out to question him. He said (the young man) lives in apartment 1904, which is located across from the van. He said (the young man) was told by the management to take the van. The second young man called (the young man)  and told him to come out and talk to the officer.

 

(The young man)  said (manager) had told him to remove the van by Monday. His friend was going to help him. (The young man)  said that after tenant had informed him that we owned the vehicle, he talked to (manager) and (manager) had said to hold off on moving it, until he checked into it. (The young man) claims his friend did not know this, and started to take the van (at 1:30 in the morning!) but needed help to put air in the front tire that was almost flat. He claims that when the young man spoke to (the young man)  for help with the tire, (the young man)  informed him that they were to no longer take it. After showing the police officer the title, (tenant) asked for the key, the officer told (the young man) to give it to her. The young men said this is the only key to the van, to their knowledge. (The young man)  said he was told by (manager) that (the property owner) was the owner of the van. The police officer told the young men that (tenant) has shown him the title in her name, not to touch the vehicle, and said he felt it was just a misunderstanding that should be taken up with management.

 

(The young man)  story, however, has many flaws. If his friend did not know that the “removal” was called off – then how would the friend have gotten the key to move the van? (The young man) would have had to given the key to him, and would have told him at that time. Also, his story changed. He said he was told (the manager) did not know who the owner of the van was, and that he had been trying to locate the owner. Then he said (the manager) told him that (the owner) owns it. Also, (the young man) was the one who was sitting in the driver’s seat of the van when the other young man arrived. It also seems odd that if they were acting in good faith, would they choose 1:30 in the morning to remove it.

In any case, once (the young man) had been told we are the owners the van, and was told not to get in the van by (tenant), he had no business being in the van or moving the van, and we firmly believe that if we had not seen them attempting to steal it, and preventing it, the van would be gone. We are particularly sensitive to the theft of our property, since (tenant's) trailer was stolen in July 2005 from the parking lot shortly after moving here. Circumstances surrounding the theft indicate that the property management may have been behind it.

 

Through all of this, numerous calls were made to (manager) and to (owner), no calls were returned. On Monday, May 19th, (manager) placed a tow sticker on the van, claiming the vehicle was used as a storage facility and it must be moved by Friday, May 23rd or the van would be towed. This is incredible to us, since the items in the van are the property of (owner). (The items in the van were left there by owner's maintenance men. (Manager) was told about this, and to this day, the items have still not been removed.) After several more phone calls and messages left with no response, (manager) finally answered. He told me that (owner) told him that he was under the impression that he owned the van. (Yet (the young man) had said (manager) said he did not know who owned it?) Tenant told (manager) we had a man who was looking at the van and interested in buying it. Later (tenant) found (manager) at his apartment, and told him she did think the man could get it by Friday, we needed more time. Tenant asked him not to have it towed. He said “I have to see movement on this!” and was a bit rude. Tenant told him about the items in the van that belonged to (owner) at this time, and they needed to be removed. Two emails were also sent to (owner), with no response.

The man who said he would buy the van said he would come Tuesday, May 27th. He did not show up so we placed the vehicle on craigslist and have had several calls. Tenant saw (manager) in his car and told him about this, and he said we could have until the end of next week (Which would be June 7th). Since looking into the law regarding all this, we have found that we were to be notified in writing by certified mail to remove the van, and that the 5 day time limits given us are not within the guidelines of the law.

 

Due to all this harassment regarding the van, the attempt to steal it, the failure by the management to make repairs and keep the grounds sanitary, and no compensation for the losses sustained in the fire, the landlord has broken the lease.

 

We hereby suggest a settlement of $6000 to be paid to us by (the owner), and no rent payable for this, our last month, due to the reasons stated above. If this settlement is not agreed upon, we are open to negotiation, but reserve the right to take this to small claims court. After inspection of our property after we surrender the property on July 1st, 2008, we are also requesting the $200 damage deposit of which we are entitled.

 

We have always paid our rent on time, and it is unfortunate conditions have forced us to resort to this. Pictures are available to prove the breach.

XXXX

 

XXXX

 

 

 

 

movinout
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 Posted: Sun Jun 1st, 2008 06:53 pm
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We are on a month-to-month lease. I found this form through our library's resources website, and just added things that apply to our situation to it.

Unfortunately, I did not give written notice to the manager, and he is hard to get a hold of. A few weeks ago I left a message on his machine telling him that the filter needed replaced in the furnace, and asked if he had filters (since they are required to maintain the air/heat) and told him at that time the air was not working, and I was going to change the filter. He did not respond, so I bought my own filter and it still does not work. He has made no attempt to contact me.  I have called and left messages many times, and he lives on-site. We are easy to locate.

My daughter also rents in this apartment complex, and she gave him a list of things that needed repaired months ago and they have not been fixed. A toilet that does not work, a dishwasher that leaks) and she also told him her air was not working more than 14 days ago and he said he'd look into it -- but never has. She plans to send a similar notice as I posted.

I also have a very long and detailed letter that I am including with the notice, and I have pictures of some of the breaches.

I will try to get this information to you, to see what you think.

 

Thank you so much for your response.

LandlordLaura
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 Posted: Sun Jun 1st, 2008 04:42 pm
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I am not an Attorney and I do not own property in Oklahoma, so the following is just my opinion based on what you posted.   I am assuming that you are involved in a  term lease agreement that has not yet expired.

You would be best informed and best protected by seeking the advice of an experienced Landlord Tenant Attorney who practices in the area where the rental property is located.  It is necessary that you follow the Laws completely for the State/County/City where the rental property is located.  Based on your post, you did not mention that you were aware that the Landlord has 14 days to correct problems before your lease can legally terminate and did not mention that you had provided the landlord with proper written notificaitons of the problems as required by Law.  The Law does allow for immediate termination when a landlord does not supply proper "...heat, running water, hot water, electric, gas or other essential service...",  but immediate termination means immediate termination (immediate move-out...)  How can you continue to live in a property that you declare is  "uninhabitable" for an additional 30 days while also claiming that the property is truly uninhabitable?  An experienced Attorney can look at all of your paperwork and notifications and advise you properly regarding whether the breach would allow you to legally terminate the lease.

When you live in a rental property, rent is due and payable for the time that you live in the property.  You may be able to ask for a reduction in rent for services not provided, but you generally will not be allowed to live rent free.  If you do not pay rent when rent is due, your landlord has the legal abiltiy to begin an eviction process.  In the long run, it would probably be much better to try and work the situation out with your landlord than to break your lease agreement.

In my opinion, the form that you typed below is not specific enough to explain to the landlord your exact, specific problem(s) with the property.  (There also appears to be some error(s) -- see the paragraph below re: return of security deposits...)  The reasons that the landlord has allegedly breached the lease should be very clearly stated and documented.  For each specific breach, explain what the problem is, when it started, how/when you notified the landlord of the specific problem enountered and provide proof.  Do you have proof of the specific problem(s) that you encountered and proof that the unit is uninhabitable?  If the landlord takes you to court for breaking your lease agreement, how will you prove the situation to the Judge to win your case?

Out of curiosity, using the 'legal resources' link at the top of this webpage, I found the following section of the Oklahoma Landlord Tenant Law:
.....
Duties of Parties upon Termination of Tenancy.
Except as otherwise provided in this act, whenever either party to a rental agreement rightfully elects to terminate, the duties of each party under the rental agreement shall cease and be determined upon the effective date of said termination, and the parties shall thereupon discharge any remaining obligations under this act as soon as practicable.
§112
.....

A tenant is required to follow the terms of the lease agreement (including paying rent) until they have moved out and returned possession ("...the effective date of said termination...") of the rental property to the landlord.

In regard to your being allowed to terminate your lease agreement before the expiration date, however, the following sections of the Laws would apply and all have to be followed to the letter.   Be sure you have proof of having followed section E -- it will be very important to your situation...
.....

Landlord's Breach of Rental Agreement - Deductions from Rent for Repairs - Failure to Supply Heat, Water or Other Essential Services - Habitability of Dwelling Unit.
A. Except as otherwise provided in this act, if there is a material noncompliance by the landlord with the terms of the rental agreement or a noncompliance with any of the provisions of Section 18 of this act which noncompliance materially affects health or safety, the tenant may deliver to the landlord a written notice specifying the acts and omissions constituting the breach and that the rental agreement will terminate upon a date not less than thirty (30) days after receipt of the notice if the breach is not remedied within fourteen (14) days, and thereafter the rental agreement shall so terminate as provided in the notice unless the landlord adequately remedies the breach within the time specified.

B. Except as otherwise provided in this act, if there is a material noncompliance by the landlord with any of the terms of the rental agreement or any of the provisions of Section 18 of this act which noncompliance materially affects health and the breach is remediable by repairs, the reasonable cost of which is less than One Hundred Dollars ($100.00), the tenant may notify the landlord in writing of his intention to correct the condition at the landlord's expense after the expiration of fourteen (14) days. If the landlord fails to comply within said fourteen (14) days, or as promptly as conditions require in the case of an emergency, the tenant may thereafter cause the work to be done in a workmanlike manner and, after submitting to the landlord an itemized statement, deduct from his rent the actual and reasonable cost or the fair and reasonable value of the work, not exceeding the amount specified in this subsection, in which event the rental agreement shall not terminate by reason of that breach.
C. Except as otherwise provided in this act, if, contrary to the rental agreement or Section 18 of this act, the landlord willfully or negligently fails to supply heat, running water, hot water, electric, gas or other essential service, the tenant may give written notice to the landlord specifying the breach and thereafter may:
1. Upon written notice, immediately terminate the rental agreement; or
2. Procure reasonable amounts of heat, hot water, running water, electric, gas or other essential service during the period of the landlord's noncompliance and deduct their actual and reasonable cost from the rent; or
3. Recover damages based upon the diminution of the fair rental value of the dwelling unit; or
4. Upon written notice, procure reasonable substitute housing during the period of the landlord's noncompliance, in which case the tenant is excused from paying rent for the period of the landlord's noncompliance.
D. Except as otherwise provided in this act, if there is a noncompliance by the landlord with the terms of the rental agreement or Section 18 of this act, which noncompliance renders the dwelling unit uninhabitable or poses an imminent threat to the health and safety of any occupant of the dwelling unit and which noncompliance is not remedied as promptly as conditions require, the tenant may immediately terminate the rental agreement upon written notice to the landlord which notice specifies the noncompliance.
E. All rights of the tenant under this section do not arise until he has given written notice to the landlord or if the condition complained of was caused by the deliberate or negligent act or omission of the tenant, a member of his family, his animal or pet or other person or animal on the premises with his consent.
§121
.....

I do not understand the "14 day" period you mention at the bottom of your form  because the Oklahoma Landlord Tenant Laws re: security deposit read as follows:

B. Upon termination of the tenancy, any security deposit held by the landlord may be applied to the payment of accrued rent and the amount of damages which the landlord has suffered by reason of the tenant's noncompliance with this act and the rental agreement, all as itemized by the landlord in a written statement delivered by mail to be by return receipt requested and to be signed for by any person of statutory service age at such address or in person to the tenant if he can reasonably be found. If the landlord proposes to retain any portion of the security deposit for rent, damages or other legally allowable charges under the provisions of this act or the rental agreement, the landlord shall return the balance of the security deposit without interest to the tenant within thirty (30) days after the termination of tenancy, delivery of possession and written demand by the tenant. If the tenant does not make such written demand of such deposit within six (6) months after termination of the tenancy, the deposit reverts to the landlord in consideration of the costs and burden of maintaining the escrow account, and the interest of the tenant in that deposit terminates at that time.


If I have misunderstood your post OR if you are on a month-to-month lease whcih allows a 30 day move-out (terminaiton) notificaiton to the landlord, then the termination form you typed is probably not necessary.  Please provide more specific informaiton regarding your situation...

Last edited on Sun Jun 1st, 2008 04:53 pm by LandlordLaura

movinout
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 Posted: Sun Jun 1st, 2008 02:05 pm
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I plan to deliver this today instead of my rent payment. I am telling them I will be out within 30 days and want my deposit back. My question: When they breach the contract and I give this notice of immediate termination, do I have a full 30 days to move without paying for this month? That is how I think it works, but not sure. Thank you.

 

 

 

NOTICE OF TERMINATION OF LEASE BY TENANT

 

Date: ___________________

 

XXXXXX Townhomes, XXX(owner), and/or agent on his behalf

XXXXXXXXXXXX                

Oklahoma City, OK XXXXX                 

 

RE:          Notice of breach of Landlord’s duties under the Lease Agreement and applicable law; Notice of Termination of Lease Agreement by Tenant

 

Dear XXXXXXXXX Townhomes, XXX(owner) and/or agent on his behalf:

 

Please be advised that the purpose of this letter is to notify you that you have breached the Lease Agreement and/or your statutory duty under applicable law and/or ordinances requiring the leased premises to be maintained in a tenantable condition.

 

Specifically, you have [check all that apply]:

 

[ ]           failed to comply with the requirements of applicable building, housing and/or health Codes.

 

[X]         failed to maintain the roof, windows, doors, floors, steps, porches, exterior walls, foundation, plumbing, and/or other vital structural components in good repair and capable of resisting normal forces and loads. *Dishwasher and ceiling.

 

[ ]           failed to make reasonable provision for the extermination of rats, mice, roaches, ants, wood-destroying organisms, bedbugs, and/or other organisms.

 

[ ]           failed to make reasonable provision for locks and keys.

 

[X]         failed to keep the common areas in a clean and safe condition.

 

[X]         failed to provide functioning facilities for heat during the winter, air conditioning when temperatures are in excess of 90 degrees, for running water and/or for hot water.

 

These conditions have not been created or caused by the negligent or intentional acts or omissions of the Tenant or anyone on the premises with the consent of the Tenant.

 

The Lease Agreement and/or applicable law now gives me the right to terminate my Lease Agreement/rental contract with you because of your failure to comply with your duties under the Lease Agreement and/or applicable law.  I will be completely moved out by the ____ day of ________________, 20____, and I will leave the leased premises in the same or better condition than when I first moved in, normal wear and tear excepted.

 

Under these circumstances, I will be entitled to a full refund of my deposit.  Please send $___________ without delay to me at this address:

 

XXXXX(me), c/o XXXXX(mother),

XXXXXX

Oklahoma City, OK XXXXXX

 

If I have not heard from you within fourteen (14) days after I have moved out, applicable law allows me to sue you in order to recover my damages.

 

Sincerely,


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