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Talerco

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Posts: 3
Reply with quote  #1 
Short story. Landlord is updating whole complex at once. Rebuilt balconies, stairways, new air conditioning, new Windows. Been going on for 6 weeks. They say can be 8 more months. My lease says they can only enter my unit for emergency, repairs OR given permission. They send almost daily notices about the disruption of the day. No permission given. Have had no balcony or storage closet for 6 weeks. Now have to use temporary stairs to my upper unit.....secured to building with duct tape. Told to remove pictures from walls...I didn't and a mirror was rattled off and broke. I'll stop here.
I just told them they have breached the lease and I'll be out in a week. Also told them to prorate rent from security deposit and send balance. To use deposit for cleaning would be pointless...I've already had the place cleaned once. Constant noise, dust, vibration and people in my house with no specific warning.
QUESTION.. I expect this large company to not like my exit plan. I have complete Confidence I'd win in small claims court. Can they ding my credit without going to court and getting a judgment?
Thanks

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Wayne Carter
LLinVA

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Posts: 365
Reply with quote  #2 
I don't think they can hit your credit, but you may not have the guaranteed win you think you have. Not being good about how they do renovations is different than breaking the lease. 

What EXACT part of the lease or law did they violate? Please post it here. There may be issues, and it's certainly worth talking to them and possibly the city or county regarding the safety issues, but they may not have actually violated anything, in which case you would lose, get evicted, and that would show in the future.
Talerco

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Posts: 3
Reply with quote  #3 
Lease says;
19. Right of Entry: Landlord has the right to enter the Premises as allowed by law. Law permits entry in case of emergency, to make necessary or agreed repairs, decorations, alterations or improvements, supply necessary or agreed services, to test smoke detectors, or exhibit the Premises to prospective or actual purchasers, mortgagees, tenants, workmen or contractors or to make an inspection pursuant to subdivision (f) of Civil Code §1950.5, or when the Resident DocuSign Envelope ID: 85BEAA25-A398-4611-A130-82198686D43D Page 6 of 8 06.08.2016 has abandoned or surrendered the Premises and pursuant to court order. Landlord will serve Resident with written notice before entry unless:
 Entry is due to an emergency, surrender or abandonment of the Premises, or
 Resident and Landlord agree orally to an entry to make agreed repairs or supply agreed services at an approximate day and time within one week of the oral agreement, or
 Resident is present and consents to entry at the time of entry, or
 To exhibit the Premises to prospective or actual purchasers of the Premises or Community, provided that Landlord has notified Resident in writing within 120 days of the oral notice that the Premises or Community is for sale and that Resident may be contacted to allow for an inspection

I'm focusing on "necessary or agreed repairs ....etc. These improvements are not necessary, not an emergency and not agreed to.
I am also relying on what I have read about;
Covenant of Quiet Enjoyment
Warranty of Habitability

Certainly complete lack of the unit's balcony and storage closet is cause for reduced rent / damages.

I do believe in what I'm saying but I am posting here welcoming being set straight if I'm wrong.
Thanks!

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Wayne Carter
LLinVA

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Posts: 365
Reply with quote  #4 
I don't think the issues with the notices and necessity of the remodeling will help you. The quiet enjoyment and the habitability definitely should though. I would reach out to them first and make sure no compromise can be reached. It won't be reached, but you will look 100x better in court when you show you did everything you could to address the situation before giving notice to leave. Then, I would contact the local housing authorities and tell them what's going on. If things aren't to code or are unsafe, they will force them to fix the issues whether you stay or not. Then assuming things aren't satisfactory, you should be able to move out. 

Make sure you are 100% clear on the safety and habitability issues though. A judge could easily say that the balcony and storage aren't essential and in no way impact habitability as long as the balcony door is there and works (locks). What they are doing may not look safe, but may meet requirements for safety given the construction (maybe not, but you have to be certain). For example, if there is another way to get to your apartment that isn't impacted and you choose the closer, but less safe route, that is not their fault since they are still providing safe access. Things like that could make you look like an over-dramatic tenant who broke the lease by moving out when things weren't perfect because the landlord was trying to improve things for you and even gave you notices every day they would be entering. 

Just because it's a pain and they aren't as professional as they could be, doesn't mean you can just walk away from a legal contract.
Talerco

Registered:
Posts: 3
Reply with quote  #5 
Thank you! I appreciate the input.
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Wayne Carter
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