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Tenancy Problems - Pests / Mold / Smoke

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- Notice to Repair
Q: Hello
My wife, our son and I signed a 1 year lease 7 months ago and are now looking into the effects of breaking the lease. Since we have moved in we have had the landlords exterminate the place 3 times for Silverfish and now they are back for the 4th time. The bathroom has mold growing on the wall under the paint in the bathroom above the shower, as well as the suite below us has had a major mould problem in one of the bedrooms (that was to our knowledge repaired, but not until after the tenants below had enough and moved out.) We were never given emergency contact numbers for repairs and for a time were not even given our landlords phone number when they moved; we have also never been given a copy of the lease agreement that we signed. If this isnt enough grounds to break the lease, can we sublease with short notice?
A: If you are in a lease you are obliged to fulfill the terms of your agreement. If there is a dispute you can arrange to have it arbitrated privately, or through the Residential Tenancy Branch. If you try walking out on the landlord with several months left on your lease you can expect him to chase you for lost rent, debt and damages, and probably a few other things he'll think he has an outside chance of getting. Trust me, stiffing the landlord is often the most expensive and complicated option a tenant can choose. It gets ugly, quickly.
If you are convinced the premises are unlivable, it would be unconscionable to try foisting it off on someone else. My advice is to write the landlord a letter detailing what your complaints are, what you want done, and by when, and explaining that you are thinking of launching a claim in arbitration if his response isn't satisfactory.


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