Can I break my lease if I have noisy neighbors that keep loud music on day and night.

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Can I break my lease if I have noisy neighbors that keep loud music on day and night.

As a tenant do I have the right to break my lease early if my landlord fails to provide me with the peace and quite. I have neighbors that just moved above me and they play loud music all day and night. I am a mother of an autistic child and a lot of noise makes him very uneasy. How can I get out of my lease or do I have the right to with/hold rent until something is done?

Asked on September 18, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Texas

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Sufficiently loud and disruptive neighbors in the same building might provide grounds for what is known as "constructive eviction" on the grounds that you can no longer stay in your unit and are effectively being forced out. Although, to make a claim for constructive eviction requires a high threshold of proof. Generally, it takes something significant and ongoing to provide grounds to terminate a lease or constructiveeviction. However, the fact that your son has special needs might qualify.

There is also another avenue that you can pursue. Every residential lease contains what is called an "implied warranty of peaceful enjoyment". In a case such as this you could claim a breach of that covenant. In such a case, you can either terminate your lease or withhold rent until the breach has been rectified. Again, while not necessarily easy to accomplish, considering your son's condition they are possible options.

However, there are various rules/procedures that must be followed in utilized any of these remedies. Doing so could lead to a whole other set of problems with your landlord. The fact is a t this point you should consult with an attorney who specializes in landlord-tenant matters. You may also want to speak with a tenant's rights organization.


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