Can I get out of the lease due to construction conditions that were not disclosed to me when I moved in?

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Can I get out of the lease due to construction conditions that were not disclosed to me when I moved in?

I rented an studio 4 months ago. Then 20 days ago the building closed the balconies since they will be repairing/replacing them. The construction will take approximately 4 months at least on my side, and a year for the whole building. Since I leave in a studio, I only have 1 window that I must keep closed. therefore I have no air, no light. On top of that, the noise is unbearable. Since there are smokers in the floor, the cigarette smoke comes out ventilation. I work most of the time from home. Will the law protect me if I move out? It was never mentioned to me, not in contract.

Asked on August 4, 2011 Florida

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

You *may* be able to terminate the lease on one of two grounds:

1) You may be able to claim that not telling you of the construction was essentially fraud--in this case, a fraudulent omission, since they withheld information material to the transaction and which any reasonable person would want to know. If there was fraud, that could void the lease.

2) You may be able to claim a combination of breach of the implied warranty of habitablity (the space is not, without air and light, usable as a residence) and breach of the covenant of quiet enjoyment (you can't "enjoy"--or make beneficial use of--the space due to noise etc.); breach of these covenants/warrantys may result in a finding that you've been "constructively evicted" and are entitled to leave.

You should consult with an attorney to explore your options and next steps. Good luck.


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