Tenant Can Cancel Lease Agreement Before Move In in the Absence of Lease Clause to the Contrary

Posted on April 1st, 2013 in break lease by Eric

Ohio”s 2nd District Court of Appeals ruled that a tenant can cancel a lease agreement before possession: “In the absence of a contract provision to the contrary, a prospective tenant may cancel his new lease prior to its effective date and receive his security deposit, as well as damages equal to the security deposit (‘the amount wrongfully withheld’), for the landlord’s failure to timely return the security deposit upon demand.” Gladden v. Mitchell, 2005 Ohio 529.

Can a Tenant Move Out Because of the Landlord’s Smoking?

Posted on January 13th, 2013 in break lease by Eric

As a society, we are becoming less and less tolerant of cigarette smoking and the effects that it has on others. Ohio’s Eighth District Court of Appeals considered a case wherein the tenant complained of cigarette smoke coming from the apartment below him which was occupied by the landlord. The tenant complained that the problem was so bad that he had to move out and sued to recover his security deposit back. The landlord counter argued that the problem was not that bad and that the tenant’s moving out was in improper breach of the lease entitling her to keep the security deposit.

The Trial Court granted the landlord summary judgment to the landlord and the tenant appealed. The Eighth District Court of Appeals ruled as follows:

Review of the affidavits attached to appellee’s motion to dismiss, or, in the alternative, motion for summary judgment and appellant’s opposition thereto, reveals the existence of general issues of material fact concerning the amount of smoke or noxious odors being transmitted into appellant’s rental unit. In appellee’s affidavit attached to her motion, she stated that the lease did not guarantee or warrant a smoke-free environment. Appellee also asserted that what minimal smoking was carried on in the building occurred in a separate and distinctly isolated portion of the building, which was not in close proximity to the portion occupied by appellant. In appellant’s affidavit attached to his opposition to appellee’s motion, he stated that it was not until the week of December 31, 1991 that cigarette smoke was accumulating and becoming more and more objectionable. Appellant also asserted it was during that week that he began feeling the negative impact the smoke was having on his health. Further, appellant denied being hypersensitive to cigarette smoke.

By construing the evidence in the light most favorable to appellant, as we are required to do, we find that reasonable minds could come to different conclusions concerning whether the condition of appellant’s rental unit, i.e., the smoke, was sufficient to constitute a breach of the covenant of quiet enjoyment or a breach of any of the landlord’s duties contained in R.C. 5321.04. In our opinion, final determination of the instant case should thus be delayed pending further factual development at trial.

Accordingly, the trial court’s decision granting summary judgment in favor of the appellee is reversed and the cause is remanded for further proceedings.

Dworkin v. Paley (1994), 93 Ohio App. 3d 383.

So the Eighth District Court of Appeals found that whether or not the landlord’s smoking was serious enough to be a breach of the landlord’s duties to the tenant was a question of fact that would have to be decided by the jury.

Tenants skip out on rent after finding free rent through HUD

Posted on September 8th, 2008 in break lease by ohiolandlordtenant

Q: Tenants moved out of my home, after 5 or 6 months of a written year long lease. They gave me 3 weeks notice they were moving and gave a reason. They claimed Hud had just found them a place to rent( I don’t accept Hud). I explained to them they could move if they want, but that they were in a year’s promise to me and still had to honor lease referring to rent, utilities, etc., until I found a replacement.

Getting Out of Leases When Not Everyone Signs

Posted on August 29th, 2008 in break lease by Eric

Q.  Can I get out of my lease agreement if not everyone signs it?

A.  In Ohio, the answer is that it depends.  There is case law out of Ohio’s Tenth District Court of Appeals that if not all of the tenants listed in the lease signs the lease, then this is grounds to get out before the date of possession.  In one case there were two tenants who were going to rent a garage to start a repair business.  When it came time to sign the lease, only one tenant signed it, and the other tenant refused.  When the landlord tried to hold the one tenant who did sign to the lease agreement, the court held that both tenants had to sign to bind either one.