If my landlord won’t enforce any of my complaints regarding other tenants breaking the contract, what is the next step to get this resolved?

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If my landlord won’t enforce any of my complaints regarding other tenants breaking the contract, what is the next step to get this resolved?

Asked on December 1, 2011 under Real Estate Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

It depends on what contract and what breaches you are talking about.  For example, say you are discussing the lease, and one term is a no-smoking or no-pets clause. If another tenant is violating that term, you may be able to bring a legal action against the landlord seeking either compensation or to force the landlord to take action (e.g. evict) due to the other tenant's breach.

On the  other hand, say that the issue is that you and two roommates are jointly obligated to pay $1200/month in rent. Even if you had an agreement among yourselves that you would each pay $400, the landlord does not--and cannot--have to enforce that: the landlord is not a party to that agreement, and the agreement (lease) with the landlord only requires the three of you pay $1200 jointly; it does not specify the breakdown. In that case, you would take action directly against the other tenant(s).

Since the answer, and what you can or should do, depends on the specific facts, you should bring the contract in question to an attorney, who can review it and the situation with you.


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