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Old 01-09-2014, 11:39 AM
22 posts, read 19,830 times
Reputation: 82


A little background here.

We've been renting one of three apartments in a "house" for about a year. There have always been a variety of minor repair issues the landlord has ignored.

Some are just annoying --a very old stove that heats up inside too much, a dripping refrigerator, a fixture lamp that nearly hit our child on the head because it was not secure--and some leaks/whatever.

There is a major one with the oil heater we have been telling him about day one. His attempt (finally) to fix it about four months ago was to get his own guy and himself to tinker with it.

We still have issues with it conking out where we have to manually restart it by going in basement. It also burns a fuel oil smell several times a day and we have had it go down to 52 degrees in here. We pay for oil and even with the cold winter, we are going through it very quickly.

Every month we mention this to the landlord.

Okay, the other issue is the tenants who moved in October. They started out by hanging outside at 4 am talking loudly (the man works the night shift). They were told to be quiet (this is a very quiet block and renters are "frowned upon.") by someone because that stopped almost immediately. Then it was loud in the house at all hours with someone up talking.

They have had the police there once as the youngest tenant had a huge argument in the driveway with the couple, waking up the neighbor, us and others on the block.

Another time the woman got drunk, had people over, and kept us up all night partying. Then at 5:30 she was screaming obscenities. The youngest tenant is a drug user (we smell pot and other chemicals), and possibly the other man as well (they constantly talk about drugs which we can hear as the walls are thin).

There is constant coughing in there and now we are getting sick. I kept smelling skunk smells and being older than 21 had no clue what the heck was going on. Then I had a stomach ache from some chemical smell. This has happened a few times.

They run FANS constantly. What could that be about? (We live in the north and it is winter!).

We have a child ourselves and just keep coughing and getting ill. As we are on a month to month, we met with the landlord, explained that we are getting sick and suspect they are using something and now are getting sick.

Like I said, I am not narc-ing on anyone because I never had any idea until all these pieces started fitting together (constant drug talk, heavy curtains on the window, acting suspicious, the drug smells, the coughing). I am worried about our health.

The landlord never got back to me about doing anything and when I emailed him about the smells AGAIN he never replied. We also had our burner break down again during another cold spell.

We were able to find a non smoking place and want to get out of here ASAP due to our health. Between the oil smell, broken/faulty burner, and their usage, I am scared and fear for our safety.

What options do we have? He has refused to take our problem with the pot seriously. He only cares if his building goes up in flames.

We pay on time, every time, or sooner. We are up to date with January rent. I want my security back and I am not looking for revenge.

Is anyone a fair landlord out there and what do you advise? I can't afford rent on two places, especially on some where where my right to quiet enjoyment is being violated.
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Old 01-09-2014, 12:29 PM
16,380 posts, read 20,356,182 times
Reputation: 14316
If you are month to month you usually need to give 30 day notice or possibly 15 day notice to move out. Check your lease the see what it says about notice and check your state law as well. Each state can be different with default notice.

You owe rent until the end of the notice period. For example, if you have 30 day notice on Dec 31 to be out by Feb 1, then you still owe all rent for January. Even if you moved out on Jan 10th.

ALso some states require that your 15/30 day notice coincide with the beginning of the rental cycle, such as the 1st of the month. Again, it depends on state law and also what's in your lease.

In standard cases, you cannot decide to move 3 days after you have notice and then be scott free for rent from the day you move out.

***You might have a case, however, for landlord not holding up to their end of the lease. However, I think most states require specific steps that you must give in order to break lease when landlord doesn't hold up their part. Possibly you meet these steps. Not sure. I am guessing you are not able to break the lease without the required notice (15/30 days??) as long as there was working plumbing and other things such as locking doors and working heat were present.
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Old 01-09-2014, 06:03 PM
Location: Silicon Valley
18,817 posts, read 28,031,423 times
Reputation: 38226
Would you please state specifically what it is that you want to have happen? I'm unclear and don't want to write a bunch of if you mean this, then do this, but if you mean that, then do this.....

What do you want?
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Old 01-10-2014, 03:15 AM
10,263 posts, read 23,008,600 times
Reputation: 14867
Give your notice to vacate and vacate. Find out how many days notice you have to give and give it. Make sure your unit is clean as a whistle and all rents are paid, utilities are paid (and names changed if need be) and have him to a move out walk thru with you and have him sign something saying the unit is in good/great/excellent (whatever) condition and he accepts it without further penalty. Then you sit back and wait for your deposit..if it shows up in full, yay! If not, you take him to court for it. Take pictures of the unit after you clean it.

Your fellow tenant's drama have nothing to do with your issue with the landlord (you should've called the cops a long time ago)...your issue with your landlord is the repairs you're requesting be made. Have you made those requests in writing? Has he attempted to repair anything you asked him to, other than the heater? Has he looked at the stove? The light fixture? etc....why you would continue to live in a home that you really feel is a health hazard is beyond me!
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Old 01-10-2014, 04:50 AM
22 posts, read 19,830 times
Reputation: 82
Thanks for the answers.

I have been to the police after one incident. They said if you smell pot call us. Helpful. The landlord said the same thing but he is annoyed if you ask him to repair anything unless it costs him money. When my front door didn't open on Christmas Eve (lock is messed up) he was not happy about sending over his repair man.

I'm sorry but yes, we had to live here because it is not easy to just move out to a new place. We were here first and pay our rent so running away is just not convenient. You can't just pick up and move because a neighbor hits your wall one night in a drunken stupor. You try to work these things out until it becomes unbearable or you find a better apartment.

In our case, we need(ed) a smoke free one that accepts dogs that isn't hundreds of dollars more than what we pay now.

We live in a small area, and these places tend to be only very high rents.

How you can say it is not our issue is strange. If you lived in a rental and suddenly you began to get ill and you suspected and overheard your neighbors discussing drugs and your landlord did nothing yet kept collecting your rent I think it would be a concern.

Again, just moving is not always the best solution or an option. But we finally found a place.

My issue is will he give us our money back. He could be a jerk about it. Kim has made a good suggestion. I will schedule a walk through when we leave with him.
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Old 01-10-2014, 08:19 AM
Location: Silicon Valley
18,817 posts, read 28,031,423 times
Reputation: 38226
Did you give 30 days notice? You have to give 30 days notice and pay for all of those 30 days.

Did you clean the place and leave it damage free? If so, the LL has to give you back your deposit. If he doesn't, sue him.

He does not have to give you any rent money back if you give 30 days notice, and leave after 5 days. He does not have to give you any of your rent back that you have already paid while living there.

That should cover it.
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