What are my rights if the unit that was advertised was not the one that we were given?

My family and I recently moved from CA. Due to being out of state, we had to rent an apartment site unseen. The unit that we rented was advertised as having covered parking and the pictures showed a unit with a fireplace. Upon arriving at the unit earlier this week we have come to find out that there is no covered parking; the unit pictured is not the unit that we received. Additionally the unit was advertised as having an “unfinished” basement and there is exposed wiring in the basement, no sheet rock is hung and the wires are run through the studs and easily accessible to my children. We contacted the property management company who has simply passed the issue along to the owner, who has done nothing about it yet. As a new ID resident I am unsure as to who I need to contact and what actions I need to take. Could you please point me in the right direction?

Asked on August 18, 2011 Idaho

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

The first thing that you need to do is write both the property mamanger and the landlord a letter setting forth the problems you have with the rented unit, your concerns and suggestions for resolution keeping a copy of the letters for future reference.

One concern that I have is that you actually signed a lease for the property sight unseen.

If you do not receive an adequate response to your letters from the property manager and the landlord within the time desired, you might consider contacting the local permit and building department to make sure that the unit's wiring and other aspects are safe. If they are, then you should feel better, if not, then your landlord needs to rectify the issues promptly.

As to the parking space and the representations that it was covered and it is not, although there may have been misrepresentations or negligence as to it, whether or not a covered parking space for the unit you rented exists or not would not appear to be a material condition for renting the apartment for you.

You rented the apartment as the main consideration for the agreement, not the covered parking space. As to the unit you received not being the one that you thought you were getting, you have a bit of a problem at this point if you have moved into the unit that you did not think you were renting.

If you have moved into it, under the eyes of the law, you have accepted what you have and would have a difficult time claiming that you did not intend to move into the unit you are in.

Good luck.


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