Can I recoup not only my deposit but moving fees from my landlord for 3 heavy smokers who moved below me after I moved in?

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Can I recoup not only my deposit but moving fees from my landlord for 3 heavy smokers who moved below me after I moved in?

I have lived in my apartment for 1.5 years. There are 4 units to a building (2 up 2 down) and I live in 1 of the top units. About 5 months ago a couple moved into 1 unit downstairs and a single woman moved into the other downstairs unit. All 3 are heavy smokers and it has wreaked havoc on not only my health but overall peaceful enjoyment of the premises. I can’t open my windows or go out on my back deck. I have asthma and although I am never sick, I’ve been having a chronic cough since they moved in. I found another place to live and would like to move out immediately.

Asked on July 12, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Connecticut

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

While it would be worthwhile to speak with an attorney, there is a good chance you can't break the lease and move out, let alone recover those costs. While apartments and other rentals do have an "implied warranty of habitability," under which the apartment must be safely inhabitable and fit for  their purpose (e.g. residence), that applies to violations of conditions which would affect the average person and preclude him or her from living there. Smoking is legal (so there's no code violation), and most people would not be sufficiently bothered by smoke from different units as to be forced to leave; therefore, even if it affects you, this probably does not rise to the level of a violation of the implied warranty of habitability. That said, that is just a general observation; to evaluate the specifics of your case, you need to consult with an attorney. Good luck.


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