Is my landlord responsible for knowing zoning laws that could have their tenants evicted?

Get Legal Help Today

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Is my landlord responsible for knowing zoning laws that could have their tenants evicted?

We have been asked to evict our property within 30 days by the town government on the premise that we are in violation of a zoning ordinance which voids our lease. I live in a 5 bedroom house with 5 roommates, 2 of which are related. The zoning ordinance states that only 1 extra person can live in a home if they are unrelated to the other tenants. We feel as though our landlord is responsible and at fault for our having to vacate the premises, as we would not have signed the lease if we knew about the ordinance. What courses of action might we take? What could we do if they failed to inform us?

Asked on November 28, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Virginia

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

If your landlord has no knowledge before the lease that you are writing about was entered into about zoning issues concerning the occupation of the unit you are renting, he or she has no obligation to advise you of the issue.

However, if there is knowledge beforehand and you made reference as to the rental situation, then there would have been a duty by the landlord to disclose a possible zoning issue. If this is the situation and you have to vacate the rental due to zoning issues, you and the other roommates should not be responsible for any rent beyond the term of your lease.

You might consider asking the zoning department of your community for a variance to live in the rental pending the end of the lease.

The landlord's obligation is to provide a safe and habitable rental to his or her tenants and to timely make repairs. Zoning issues are beyond the knowledge and training of most landlords.  


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption