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Breaking the Lease - Need Advice

My girlfriend and I need some serious advice.  Our realtor showed us a nice, little property in Newport, RI.  A lease was sent to us shortly after we viewed the place and we signed it.  Keep in mind, our landlord lives in the unit next to us for half the year.   Year Lease - June 1 - May 31, 2013  We already want to break the lease because our land lord is a bit too strict and we don't feel comfortable here.  Here are a few issues we have dealt with:  - We can't put chairs on the lawn (we have our own little separate patio area, but we pretty much can't use the lawn)  - Cable guy installed cable, but she refused to let him drill holes in the walls - so we don't have cable upstairs, only downstairs.  - Upon asking for permission to have my girlfriend's parents stay for 10 days (they're from Ireland) - she agreed.  When I mentioned our friend from Ireland was staying as well, she told me I was breaking zoning laws because five adults in a one bedroom was too many people.  I understand this is technically a legal issue, but we were causing no harm to her by having an additional friend stay for a week...we didn't want to kick her out on the street!    -  This is the big one: she told us there is no smoking on the property - but nowhere in the lease does it state that any rules about smoking.  She won't even let us smoke on our little patio outside... I feel this is illegal because she's enforcing rules that aren't on the lease.    Anyway, we had a meeting with our realtor and land lord.  We brought up the no-smoking rule and she agreed it was a miscommunication and should have been on the lease, but she still won't allow us to smoke on our patio.  We told her this should have been stated on the lease and that it's now creating a problem with us wanting to stay.  She said that she could try and get a tenant in here for July 1st - but if not, we would be obligated to pay the rent until someone is found.  We feel we shouldn't have to pay.  Yes, we signed a lease, but she is breaking the rules of the lease by preventing us from doing certain things not clearly stated.    MY MAIN QUESTIONS: - Because we are uncomfortable and she is enforcing rules not stated (no-smoking) - can we technically leave after June and not be obligated to pay the rest of the rent? - Can we get our security deposit back?  My realtor claims we might have our deposit withheld due to the LL not wanting to repay commission.  I feel this is unfair b/c the security deposit is for damages and charges against us if we break municipal ordinances.    THANK YOU so much reading this and helping us!  I appreciate it.
1 Comment

Let’s address the important issues (my opinion) 1st – the lawn chairs and smoking. If it wasn’t specified in the lease agreement, there isn’t much she can do about it, legally. If you truly wish to move without much cost (?) to you, ask yourself the following question –“What would LL do if we violated the terms mentioned above?” LL would either ignore the violation because it really isn’t a violation or gives you a Notice to correct the violation OR move in X # of days (per State law). If you receive a Notice and you chose to move, you are freed from the lease. This may also free you from any liability except cleaning. You may not be responsible for rent, etc since she has given you an option. If you decide to stay, we can discuss the remaining questions. ----- Disclaimer: Since I’ve been answering a lot of questions, I thought I would make the following statement. I’m not affiliated with EZlandlord Forms. I’m just here (not sure how long) to help those that have questions. Having 40+ yrs with Rental Property and done well, it’s my way of “Pay it Forward (check out the movie).” However, it is up to you to become familiar with your State/Local laws. Also, since State/Local laws vary, you should check with a Real Estate Attorney. I always like to know if the suggestions I offer are helpful. Feel free to comment anytime. Thanks in Advance.
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