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Old 10-23-2014, 08:04 AM
 
Location: St Thomas, US Virgin Islands
24,671 posts, read 62,334,474 times
Reputation: 26588

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The state law you're using applies solely to month to month tenancies. As said, your lease terms remained in effect when it went month to month so the answer is yes.

Rent abatement? You mean return of rent paid? Your chances are next to nil. You lived there, paid rent for the time you lived there and then you moved. A court will make you "whole" but that's not applicable under these circumstances. The only monies which would even be considered would be, for instance, if you paid your rent on the first of the month and left on the 15th because the conditions were such that the place was suddenly uninhabitable, the landlord locked you out or something along those lines in which case you could argue for pro-rated rent for that month only. You won't get rent back for the time you lived there. Best you move on.
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Old 10-23-2014, 08:25 AM
 
16,379 posts, read 19,368,501 times
Reputation: 14285
Quote:
Originally Posted by bathedinlight View Post
Thanks for clarifying, Davy. So, if it is in my lease, then it "trumps" state law?

Regarding the apartment that I am currently in negotiation with...I was a senior in college at the time. Thus, I utilized the free legal services offered to me. I have pictures, I have a lot of written documentation. My lawyer has all of this. Yes, I have been going at this for a year now. I didn't keep a diary, unfortunately, but I did keep all correspondence via emails and any written letters. However, the picture evidence and housing report is damning enough. The lawyer states that their lawyer is not returning his calls. Since I received representation as a student, I continue to receive [free] representation until this case is closed. However, he has yet to file anything. I keep pressing him to, however; he isn't very responsive. I am sure you can understand why.

At this time, I do not have the money to hire a top notch attorney, or even a bottom of the barrel attorney. I'll just stick with what I have. Hopefully, I will receive some sort of compensation. I am just asking for rent abatement in the amount of $5,000. However, they refused to pay this. Since that discussion, their lawyer has not returned my lawyer's calls. I told him several times to just file in small claims court. I am unsure why he hasn't, other than he probably has a ton of college student cases? Perhaps I will call him again today!

Thanks.

That's a totally different rental unit that the one you are asking about 15 days/30 days. That other unit doesn't even matter as far as the current discussion about the unit you are moving out of. Leave that prior rental out of discussions unless you make a separate thread for it. It made your 1st post confusing/lengthy because you discussed 2 different rental units.
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Old 10-23-2014, 10:17 AM
 
Location: NC
7 posts, read 6,377 times
Reputation: 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by STT Resident View Post
The state law you're using applies solely to month to month tenancies. As said, your lease terms remained in effect when it went month to month so the answer is yes.

Rent abatement? You mean return of rent paid? Your chances are next to nil. You lived there, paid rent for the time you lived there and then you moved. A court will make you "whole" but that's not applicable under these circumstances. The only monies which would even be considered would be, for instance, if you paid your rent on the first of the month and left on the 15th because the conditions were such that the place was suddenly uninhabitable, the landlord locked you out or something along those lines in which case you could argue for pro-rated rent for that month only. You won't get rent back for the time you lived there. Best you move on.
In NC, we cannot withhold rent if the landlord/PM refuses to perform repairs. The only feasible way of receiving any sort of money is to ask for retroactive rent abatement, especially in small claims.

I had two choices. I could a) pay rent, because I am in a lease agreement and it is required by law or b) not pay rent, get evicted, and have pretty much nowhere to go. :P

Also, the whole construction of what retroactive rent abatement means for you is totally different around here (I guess). In NC, an attorney helping their client "determines" what the apartment's actual market value was during their client's tenancy (during the period of inhabitability). For example, would someone pay $895/mth for 8-9 months for a 2BR apartment that has severe water damage on both floors, sagging ceilings, multiple housing code violations, appliances - provided/maintained by the PM - that do not work, and finally, a gas leak that they deemed harmless, and was actually a legitimate gas leak, etc.? No, thus the market value of the apartment goes down. Most attorneys I consulted with, whilst I was still living there (and I decided to go with my university provided attorney, because I obviously could not afford to pay for one, a few months before I was released from my lease due to "uninhabitable conditions," per the email from the Regional Manager), just threw out random percentages. There was no other approach suggested out of every consult, it was always retroactive rent abatement.

Thus, if I paid, say $12,000 during the time it was not in habitable condition, and the market value of the apartment was half that, then I would ask for $6,000 in damages. Under law, I had to pay my rent there. NC GS states you cannot withhold rent. The only route is rent abatement. I am unsure how else NC tenants would get their money back. If the person refuses to pay rent, gets evicted/charged with late fees, that person can go before district court to sue for all of the above (illegal late fees, rent abatement, etc.) But in my case, especially with a daughter, I just paid my rent and moved to and from hotels as needed. I could not risk eviction. I certainly did not have the money, as a college student and a mom, to pay to move at that time.

My attorney also stated I could utilize the Unfair Trade and Practices Act, as my PM continued to accept my money, even though they knew it was not in habitable condition. However, I really thought this would be much easier if I just dealt with it in small claims, which has a $5,000 limit. I really do not want to pursue this in district court. As such, the easiest way to make - and win - my claim is to file for rent abatement. It's the most common method, at least in NC, and it's also the easiest to prove/win.

Also, I apologize for merging the two stories together. I guess I was trying to explain why I was terrified of dealing with this due to the previous encounter. Also, I was trying to explain why I agreed to take over her lease and ended up here! I was not asking for advice on the legal situation. However, I do appreciate the advice.

I am going now to speak with my PM. I hope things go well. I will let y'all know.
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Old 10-23-2014, 10:35 AM
 
Location: St Thomas, US Virgin Islands
24,671 posts, read 62,334,474 times
Reputation: 26588
Quote:
Originally Posted by bathedinlight View Post
1. In NC, we cannot withhold rent if the landlord/PM refuses to perform repairs. The only feasible way of receiving any sort of money is to ask for retroactive rent abatement, especially in small claims.

2. For example, would someone pay $895/mth for 8-9 months for a 2BR apartment that has severe water damage on both floors, sagging ceilings, multiple housing code violations, appliances - provided/maintained by the PM - that do not work, and finally, a gas leak that they deemed harmless, and was actually a legitimate gas leak, etc.?
1. Yes, but what's the percentage of cases in which the tenant prevails? This is something that I would look into if I were in a state which didn't have statutes for deduct and repair. Which also segues into (2).

2. My response to that is why would someone stay in a place for 8-9 months under such conditions? Given the conditions which apparently existed when you moved in and which weren't fixed within max a month, I think most people would have documented everything and simply moved. If the LL decided to sue for unpaid rent then one would have ample proof to contest and prevail. For whatever reason (and the reasons really aren't important or relevant when it comes to court) you chose to stay there for such a long period and in those conditions.

But the filing fee in Small Claims court is minimal so, even if you don't prevail, your loss will be minimal and likely only be your own court costs and those of the LL.

Good luck!
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Old 10-23-2014, 01:41 PM
 
Location: southwest TN
8,344 posts, read 15,905,255 times
Reputation: 15514
Quote:
Originally Posted by bathedinlight View Post
Thanks for clarifying, Davy. So, if it is in my lease, then it "trumps" state law?

Regarding the apartment that I am currently in negotiation with...I was a senior in college at the time. Thus, I utilized the free legal services offered to me. I have pictures, I have a lot of written documentation. My lawyer has all of this. Yes, I have been going at this for a year now. I didn't keep a diary, unfortunately, but I did keep all correspondence via emails and any written letters. However, the picture evidence and housing report is damning enough. The lawyer states that their lawyer is not returning his calls. Since I received representation as a student, I continue to receive [free] representation until this case is closed. However, he has yet to file anything. I keep pressing him to, however; he isn't very responsive. I am sure you can understand why.

At this time, I do not have the money to hire a top notch attorney, or even a bottom of the barrel attorney. I'll just stick with what I have. Hopefully, I will receive some sort of compensation. I am just asking for rent abatement in the amount of $5,000. However, they refused to pay this. Since that discussion, their lawyer has not returned my lawyer's calls. I told him several times to just file in small claims court. I am unsure why he hasn't, other than he probably has a ton of college student cases? Perhaps I will call him again today!

Thanks.

OP,

1. Which problem are you writing about? You state you already have an attorney working on apt #1 so why are you discussing that if you want help with apt #2? how you got into apt #2 is of no relevance to the issues you have with apt #2 nor to the "notice" requirement with your current lease/m2m situation in apt #2.

And this is why one poster suggested you keep your fingers out of the pie. You drag so much irrelevant information into the situation that it really takes a lot of digging to find out what you are seeking help with or even what are the pertinent facts. Some of us have more patience than others.

2. On to the situation with apt #2. The repair history and/or behavior of the repair person has nothing to do with the notice required. I'm not even sure you have asked for advice concerning this issue. But I will side with you that notice is required - 24 hrs - before entering the apt and a knock first, even with proper notice, should be also.

3. Assuming that the only issue is with apt #2 and the amount of notice you need to give, you just might be causing yourself some unnecessary stress by not paying for the 30 days' notice required by your lease, which is still what governs you since it rolled-over into a month to month tenancy.

Helpful hint for future or FYI. Sometimes brevity doesn't give a complete picture but sometimes lack of brevity makes finding out the picture extremely difficult or even impossible. It wasn't just that you are verbose, it is that you do not have focus. Nothing relating to your first apt has any bearing on the question or answer concerning your current apt. Apply that to all situations and you will find you no longer confuse people when you tell a story or set out facts.
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Old 10-23-2014, 02:35 PM
 
Location: NC
7 posts, read 6,377 times
Reputation: 15
Lol. Y'all write extremely long posts regarding my extremely long original post. In fact, most of everyone's advice is 2-3 paragraphs about my lengthy post.

I moved in the apartment with the severe issues in Jan 2013. I started experiencing leaks from the indoor plumbing in March 2013 (water from showers/baths would leak through the living room ceiling). The most severe issues started in June 2013. I contacted several lawyers beginning of August 2013 (start of Fall semester). I moved into my current apartment Dec 1 2013.

I was using 8-9 months as an example (same as I did the $12k figures, etc.). I "chose to live" in the most severe conditions, assuming that they were just lengthy repairs for 2 months. From mid-June through late July, I was told that they were not easy repairs, and that it would take some time. I assumed this was true. However, the roof contractors never showed up, maintenance never came to fix the sagging ceilings, light fixtures (was told no reason to fix or "deal" with those until the roof was fixed, use a pot and towels to catch the water), etc. Which is why I consulted with a few lawyers. I chose the most ideal option, the free legal service from my university, and I moved forward with providing documentation, written requests for repair, pictures, recorded video, dates, etc. He stated that since I did not want it to be a time consuming process (I graduated from a demanding school, had a lengthy commute, and a young daughter), he advised me to go the rent abatement route and ask for the max amount ($5,000) + fees. That's what I did. Thus, once I realized these issues were not going to be fixed, and then the gas leak ...I got out as soon as I possibly could. In reality, it was around 4 months that I had to deal with what I did. Do you really think I chose to stay there? Lol. If I had a choice, I wouldn't have lived there. That should be obvious.

In order to move (this apartment had student packages, rent included lights, internet, gas, etc.), I would need first month's rent, deposit, deposit for lights, deposit for Internet, deposit for water, money to rent a truck and pay for gas, etc. That's thousands of dollars, and I definitely did not have the money to move. As the semester progressed, and the shock of buying books, paying for part of my tuition, etc. wore off, I was in better shape. I began looking for a new place to move in late Oct/early Nov. I signed a lease on Nov 27th, and I was out of there by Dec 1st. I really did not try and take my time, but I was pretty broke...

Anyway! GOOD NEWS! I worried for no reason. My PM was gracious, compassionate, and totally the same PM she was when I first moved in, before all of the stuff happened with maintenance. I can move out whenever I need to, and I only have to pay for the days I stay. She told me just to keep her updated, and we will do the final walkthrough when I am ready. Very very happy with how it turned out. Thanks again. No need to comment on how irrelevant my info/posts are, or how long they are...whilst making extremely long, irrelevant replies, too. Cheers.
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