It's important to remember that you can only use this option if the problems with your home seriously affect health and safety or the physical condition of the property. There may be important things that need to be fixed, but if they don't seriously affect health and safety or the physical condition of the property, you can't use them as a reason to terminate your lease and move out. Instead, you can use Option 2 below.
What kinds of problems "seriously affect health and safety or the physical condition of the property"?
Here are some examples from court cases:
A toilet that doesnt work
Chipped and flaking lead paint when there was a baby in the house
No front door lock
Unsafe or unsound stairs, decks, or railings
These are not the only examples and there really is no way to make a complete list of all the problems that might fit the bill. You will have to use your own judgment and may ultimately have to ask a court to decide whether the problem is serious enough to allow you to terminate your lease.
If you believe the problems with your home are serious enough that you need to terminate your lease if your landlord wont fix them quickly, then you first need to notify your landlord of the problems in writing and ask that they be fixed. You need to allow your landlord at least 14 days to fix the problems, though you can give more time than that. Your letter should say how long you are going to allow and that you will terminate your lease and move out if the problems aren't fixed in that time.
SCLS has an online tool you can use to draft a letter to your landlord. Click here to use it.
If you choose this option, you should begin looking for a place to move as soon as possible. But, you should be careful about signing a lease or moving somewhere else before the time you have given your landlord to make repairs is up. If your landlord fixes the problems within 14 days (or whatever longer amount of time you give them), then you don't have the right to terminate your lease any more. If you sign a lease somewhere else or move out and stop paying rent too soon, you might owe money to two landlords!