If my leasing office explicitly lied to me about the end date of a private construction project next to my apartment building, can I ask for a rent reduction?

Before I signed my lease 7 months ago, the leasing agent explicitly told me that the construction was ending in 2 months and that the workers were only painting. When I moved in, I discovered that they were actually still doing major structural work on the building. The hammering/drilling is extremely disruptive and occurs very early in the morning, often well before the city’s minimum start time. I also looked up the project’s construction permits and found that there was never a an end date when they said there was. In fact, they applied for an extension a couple of months before I signed my lease.

Asked on July 20, 2012 under Real Estate Law, California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Fraud is the knowing misrepresentation (or lie about) a material (or imporant) fact, made to induce someone to enter into a transaction and upon which the other party reasonably relies. When fraud is committed, that can provide grounds for monetary compensation and/or to rescind the contract (or lease)--i.e. to void the lease and move out without penalty. If they knew or reasonably should have known about the length of the construction but lied about, that may well be fraud and you may therefore have a legal cause of action.

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