Can I get out of the lease due to construction conditions that were not disclosed to me when I moved in?

UPDATED: Aug 4, 2011

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Can I get out of the lease due to construction conditions that were not disclosed to me when I moved in?

I rented an studio 4 months ago. Then 20 days ago the building closed the balconies since they will be repairing/replacing them. The construction will take approximately 4 months at least on my side, and a year for the whole building. Since I leave in a studio, I only have 1 window that I must keep closed. therefore I have no air, no light. On top of that, the noise is unbearable. Since there are smokers in the floor, the cigarette smoke comes out ventilation. I work most of the time from home. Will the law protect me if I move out? It was never mentioned to me, not in contract.

Asked on August 4, 2011 Florida


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

You *may* be able to terminate the lease on one of two grounds:

1) You may be able to claim that not telling you of the construction was essentially fraud--in this case, a fraudulent omission, since they withheld information material to the transaction and which any reasonable person would want to know. If there was fraud, that could void the lease.

2) You may be able to claim a combination of breach of the implied warranty of habitablity (the space is not, without air and light, usable as a residence) and breach of the covenant of quiet enjoyment (you can't "enjoy"--or make beneficial use of--the space due to noise etc.); breach of these covenants/warrantys may result in a finding that you've been "constructively evicted" and are entitled to leave.

You should consult with an attorney to explore your options and next steps. Good luck.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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