Am I entitled to a rent abatement due to unauthorized access to our garage?

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Am I entitled to a rent abatement due to unauthorized access to our garage?

I was in a 1 year townhouse rental. During the course of the lease, which just ended, the faulty garage door openers would allow a neighbor’s remote control to open and close our garage door. When we reported our garage door being left open against our consent, we were told by maintenance personnel that it was an on-going problem that the upper management refused to fix by replacing the garage door openers. Is this cause for a break of the lease agreement? Am I entitled to the deposit and rent abatement retroactively?

Asked on August 6, 2011 Minnesota

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Generally speaking, a rent abatement  is given to a tenant under certain conditions.  One condition is where the apartment is not fit to be inhabited, such as a pest or rodent problem.  Another condition is where the roof leaks and they are forced not to use an area of the home.  Or the refrigerator breaks.  Or there is no heat.  Your issue needs to be delved in to further.  Is it a safety issue?  Is there access from the garage to the house?  Was your car damaged in any way?  Were you precluded from using it because your car was not safe?  A problem that you may have is that your lease term has ended.  You can try and sue and see what happens but I am not so sure you will be successful.  Good luck.


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