Student Legal Services

Move in day does not always go as planned. It is not uncommon for students to show up at their new home only to find that repairs are needed or the house is not clean. Despite the condition of the property, you still have an agreement with your landlord to pay a sum of money, over the term of the lease. Your lease will not be terminated simply because the house is dirty, or in disrepair.

The lease can be terminated if there are significant defects which render the property uninhabitable. However, habitability will ultimately be decided by the Court and a landlord must be given an opportunity to "cure" or make the property habitable, before a lease can be terminated.

Schedule an appointment with an attorney at SLS to discuss your options.


When you move in you need to document the conditions of the property.

  •     You will be given an inventory checklist—make sure you complete that form in its entirety! List in detail any and all damage at the property, including all carpet stains and nail holes.
  •     Take pictures (or a video) of the conditions in the property. Make sure the pictures are date stamped.
  •     If repairs are needed, notify the landlord in writing, and keep a copy of that notification for your records. The inventory checklist does not serve as notification of needed repairs.


Consider purchasing renter’s insurance: it is relatively inexpensive and will protect you in the event of any damage that is not your landlord’s responsibility.