Rental Leases: Can the renter be responsible for terms of lease when the landlord has behaved questionably? Does an eviction null the terms of a lease?

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Rental Leases: Can the renter be responsible for terms of lease when the landlord has behaved questionably? Does an eviction null the terms of a lease?

My friend in Reno signed a 2 yr lease to rent a “mother-in-law” unit. Within a month, she got a warning letter threatening eviction given any further noise from children, dog, or music. The complaint came from the 7-yr renters in the front house. She insists her noise is normal. I think the cheap construction makes normal noise travel through walls. Then she was told, the common area between the houses are off-limits, tho’ she helped get the area cleaned & was given a gate key. She’s tried to give notice; she lives in fear of being quiet, but the PM wants her to pay rent until another rents.

Asked on July 5, 2009 under Real Estate Law, California

Answers:

MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

A.  Common areas are just that -- for common area usage by all tenants.

B.  Cheap construction has nothing to do with it.  Have the police been called? Has she been cited? Further, has there been an issue before and has it been in writing?

C. The landlord has an obligation to ensure tenants have enjoyment quiet in their living area.

D. In terms of what will happen, even if she gets evicted (generally speaking because I don't know if she is in Nevada or California), she will still be responsible for a certain portion of the rent or damages, etc.

E. Has she asked the property manager to let her surrender her lease? If so, she may be able to simply walk away, minus regular itemized bill deduction for clean up and repair that would be taken out of her security deposit.


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