If I moved into an apartment that was not what I agreed to, can I be made to pay for a move to a unit that is what I wanted?

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If I moved into an apartment that was not what I agreed to, can I be made to pay for a move to a unit that is what I wanted?

I moved into an apartment that is not what I asked for, waited for or paid for. I asked for a 2nd level unit; I do not wish to be on the ground level for security purposes. The lot of my building is sloped so you have to walk up steps to get to my apartment but I’m on ground level. My “balcony” is a patio and my windows are 3 ft from the ground. The apartment manager is reluctantly allowing me to move to another unit. However, they want to charge me more. This can’t be legal. Not only should they physically and financially move me, I shouldn’t have to pay extra.

Asked on June 25, 2015 under Real Estate Law, Virginia

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

The issue, unfortunately, isn't what you wanted or asked for--the issue is whether the lease you signed specified a given unit, which it presumably did. You agreed to live in whatever unit is listed on the lease: if that was the ground floor unit, then by signing a lease for it, that is the unit you accepted, and the landlord would not be required to move you. If they are willing to move you, they may put conditions on it, such as having you pay more for a more desirable unit.

On the other hand, if the unit named in the lease was a different one (not the one they moved you into), they would have been in breach of the agreement and you could require them to move you to the unit specified in the lease at their cost.

The lease is a contract: whatever unit was listed in is the one you leased, and if you did not want the listed unit, you should not have signed the lease.


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