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?

UPDATED: Jul 5, 2009

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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


MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 13 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.

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 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.

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