What to do if my landlord will not take action against a tenant who is in violation of their lease?

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What to do if my landlord will not take action against a tenant who is in violation of their lease?

I am renting an apartment with a month-to-month lease. After moving in my landlord gave us neighbors from hell. They all have been charged with multiple crimes, including burglary, but never convicted. Their father drives without a license plate, hit my friends car and ran. I have no proof. They’ve attempted to steel our Internet and have stolen minor things like decorations. They try to fight with me but have only violated their lease through use of drugs and illegal noise levels. My landlord won’t throw them out because of fear that they will retaliate on the building. What do I do?

Asked on October 19, 2011 under Real Estate Law, New Mexico

Answers:

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

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Every residential lease contains what is known as an implied "right to quiet enjoyment".  This means that a tenant cannot be disturbed in their use and/or enjoyment of the premises. Consequently, if your landlord permits this continued interference with the use and enjoyment of your apartment, you may be able to sue withhold rent until the disturbance is eliminated and/or break your lease and, other the circumstances, possibly even sue for money damages.

However, before attempting any of the above measures, you should consult with an attorney in your area that specializes in landlord-tenant cases. You can also speak with a tenants' rights advocacy group as well. 


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