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Old 01-03-2012, 12:09 PM
 
94 posts, read 225,578 times
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We moved into a house in a new town. The main question to the LL was about how the neighbors were and noise and safety. My husband is a pianist and composer and needs a certain amount of quiet.

I was told the neighbors were lovely people. They said one neighbor had a rap group that rehearsed about 1 hour a week. We liked the house and neighborhood and one hour a week is fine with us. It turned out that the neighbor has a studio and blasts music about 25 hours a week that we can't get away from. We've checked w/ town noise ordinances and unless it's after 11 pm or before 7 am it's not breaking the law. Of course we've tried talking to the guy. Nice guy but no room there.

Then there was the time when we heard "I'm going to KILL YOU B**TCH" a couple of times and somebody responding, "Go ahead a blast me!" Called the cops. Two weeks later our car was sideswiped by a friend of the neighbors. This is a nice neighborhood. They're taking responsibility for the accident and maybe just a coincidence but. When I went to the police dept to get a copy of the report, the police knew the house and said something like, 'oh yes, we know them. They've got a host of characters living there.'

So my question is, does a landlord have a legal responsibility to disclose problems the way they would if we were buying the house?

Thanks so much!
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Old 01-03-2012, 12:15 PM
 
Location: St Thomas, US Virgin Islands
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No. Best advice (albeit rather late for you) is to drive through the neighborhood at different times of the day and night so you can gauge for yourself what the general tone is and decide whether or not it suits your particular requirements. Sorry not give you the answer you probably wanted to hear but maybe the advice will help you and others in the future.
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Old 01-03-2012, 12:18 PM
 
Location: in a cabin overlooking the mountains
3,078 posts, read 4,058,288 times
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Just FYI it is entirely possible that the LL is not aware of the neighbors. After all, the LL doesn't live there.

I can tell you from my experience that things are sometimes not what they seem. Once I had what I thought were fine upstanding tenants. He was a foreman for a drywall contractor, she was a receptionist, both with nice steady jobs, drove nice cars, clean etc. When they moved out was when the downstairs neighbors mentioned to me that there were repeated episodes of domestic violence in that apt.

And don't think the cops notify a LL when there are problems. If anything the OPPOSITE is true. I've had neighbors complain bitterly about noisy tenants in my building and tell me they've filed police reports. I don't want problem tenants so I called the cops and asked for the report. Cops won't give it to me. I call the complaining nieghbors and ask them to get me a copy of the report. Too much work on their part. So all I have is 'he said she said' which is not a basis for eviction.

Plus neighbors can change.

I'm sorry this is not turning out to be what you expected or wanted, but unless you can prove the LL was aware of the situation you may not have a case.
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Old 01-03-2012, 12:27 PM
 
Location: St Thomas, US Virgin Islands
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FrugalYankee View Post
I'm sorry this is not turning out to be what you expected or wanted, but unless you can prove the LL was aware of the situation you may not have a case.
Even if they could prove that the LL misled them I don't know of anything in any state law which would enable them to pursue any court action or a lease break.
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Old 01-03-2012, 12:39 PM
 
94 posts, read 225,578 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FrugalYankee View Post
Just FYI it is entirely possible that the LL is not aware of the neighbors. After all, the LL doesn't live there.
Thanks for the quick replies. I guess it doesn't matter since you say they've got no legal obligation.

The LL lived in this house for 10 years and this is the first time they've rented their house so they know what's going on.

Since we were moving from across the country, I had only so much time to take a look. Nice area. I'll definitely camp out the next time.

Thanks.
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Old 01-03-2012, 01:03 PM
 
4,919 posts, read 21,440,039 times
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In addition to the Landlord and Tenant regulations, landlords may also be held to certain contract standards which could include disclosure of material defects or nusances. Just because an item isnl;t mentioned int he landlord tenat regulatiosn does not mean its not covered in other laws. Its very common for landlords to look only at the landlord/tenant laws and assume thats all that they have to obey and they find out about these other laws and regulations when some smart person holds them to the fire. You really need someone familiar with the laws of your state and how your specific question to the LL about nusiances and their response hashes out.
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Old 01-03-2012, 01:13 PM
 
Location: St Thomas, US Virgin Islands
24,671 posts, read 64,712,943 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PacificFlights View Post
In addition to the Landlord and Tenant regulations, landlords may also be held to certain contract standards which could include disclosure of material defects or nusances. Just because an item isnl;t mentioned int he landlord tenat regulatiosn does not mean its not covered in other laws. Its very common for landlords to look only at the landlord/tenant laws and assume thats all that they have to obey and they find out about these other laws and regulations when some smart person holds them to the fire. You really need someone familiar with the laws of your state and how your specific question to the LL about nusiances and their response hashes out.
I strongly disagree. Loud music which is within the bounds of city ordinances, a couple of instances of a verbal domestic fight, a sideswiped car (which the person who did the damage has agreed to pay for) and a casual comment from a police officer don't in any way, shape or form add up to a cause of "disclosure of material defects or nuisances". If you can cite any case anywhere where "evidence" such as this has been successfully used in court against a LL I'll stand corrected and eat my hat to boot!
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Old 01-03-2012, 01:50 PM
 
94 posts, read 225,578 times
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I guess I'm wondering if there might be some legal room since I specifically asked about these things which is different than them being obligated to disclose something. Or is it?

Last edited by sonno23; 01-03-2012 at 02:05 PM..
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Old 01-03-2012, 01:54 PM
 
2,091 posts, read 6,967,402 times
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Good question I'd like to know the answer to, too. As far as I know, I'm trying to rent out a house, not the whole neighborhood.
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Old 01-03-2012, 01:55 PM
 
4,919 posts, read 21,440,039 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by STT Resident View Post
I strongly disagree. Loud music which is within the bounds of city ordinances, a couple of instances of a verbal domestic fight, a sideswiped car (which the person who did the damage has agreed to pay for) and a casual comment from a police officer don't in any way, shape or form add up to a cause of "disclosure of material defects or nuisances". If you can cite any case anywhere where "evidence" such as this has been successfully used in court against a LL I'll stand corrected and eat my hat to boot!
Its covered in all state laws under the Fair Dealings and Good Faith requirment of all contracts including leases (which are contracts). The key to this in this discussion is the OP said they specifically asked. They asked the landlord or their agent a specific question and they received a certain response. The tenant made a decission based on the assurance provided by the LL/agent. The OP would need to prove the LL or agent knew that the information they provided the tenant to their qurestion was false, but if it can be proven, it most certainly would be a legal challenge under that state contract laws. As a matter of fact, many states lanlord tenat laws also mentiont hat the lease must abide by the provisions of Good faith and Fair Dealing. If the LL said they didn;t know or that they suggest the tenant check at diffrent itme for themself, the LL wouldn;t have any issues, but since they gave the assurance, they can't turn around and claim "Whooops I was wrong" especially if the tenant can show they did or should have know that what they said was false. Basic Contract Law 101 and Basic Landlord Tenant Law 101.
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